University of Technology Sydney

96022 Leadership in Primary Health Care

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks


This subject covers an introduction to contemporary health care leadership in the primary health care environment. The subject provides a critical foundation in leadership and associated issues for planners, clinicians, health researchers and managers working in this environment. Students address issues of concern for health leaders including leadership theory and strategies to enhance service delivery; establishing and sustaining high-performance cultures; effective human resources for health; succession planning; change management; strategies for career enrichment; resilience for leadership; reflective critical thinking; social justice and equity; and effective communication. On completion of this subject, students understand the crucial role of leadership in effective primary health care provision.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Critically discuss the leadership theories and models that can inform primary health care and primary health care research
B. Plan evaluate a multi-disciplinary change management strategy for primary health care
C. Analyse social justice issues in relation to primary health care
D. Develop strategies for advocacy and accountability in primary health care leadership
E. Explain and apply the elements influencing effective leadership of high performing teams in primary health care
F. Critique the impact of on-going colonisation and effects on access to and the provision of primary health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Teaching and learning strategies

Masterclasses comprising seminars and group work where students will be encouraged to contribute to discussions and collaborate on authentic assessment items. Flipped learning strategies will be incorporated to ensure that students come to class well prepared and can contribute fully.

Content (topics)

  • Leadership theory and strategies to enhance service delivery
  • Establishing and sustaining high performance cultures
  • Change-management
  • Effective human resources for health
  • Succession planning and strategies for career enrichment
  • Resilience for leadership, and effective communication
  • Reflective critical thinking for effective leadership
  • Social justice and equity issues for leaders in primary health care
  • Nurturing leadership and capacity building for primary health care research


Assessment task 1: Leading a community audit and developing of strategic plan


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C and D

Weight: 50%

3,000 words

Assessment task 2: Leadership in Primary health Care Change Management


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B and E

Weight: 30%

20 minutes

Assessment task 3: Annotated bibliography: Primary Health Care Challenges within Indigenous communities


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

C and F

Weight: 20%

1,500 words

Recommended texts

An understanding of the primary care, public health, and policy structure of the Australian healthcare system will be considered assumed knowledge for this course. The following texts provide a good overview of these topics.

Duckett, S.J. 2011, The Australian health care system, 4th edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Lin V, Smith J, & Fawkes S, with Robinson P, & Chaplin S, 2007, Public Health Practice in Australia: The organised effort, Allen & Unwin, Sydney.

Taylor, S., Foster, M., & Fleming, J. (eds.), 2008, Health care practice in Australia: Policy, context and innovations, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.


American Nurses Association Leadership Institute. 2013, ANA Leadership Institute Competency Model, American Nurses Association, Washington D.C.

Bishop, V. 2009. ‘What is Leadership?’ in Bishop, V. (ed.) Leadership for Nursing and Allied Health Open University Press, Milton Keynes, pp8-31

Calhoun, JG, et al. 2008. ‘Development of an inter-professional competency model for healthcare leadership’ Journal of Healthcare Management 53(6), pp375-389

Duckett, S. & Willcox, S. 2011, The Australian health care system (4th ed), Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic., pp. 1-16.

Hall, J. 2015, ‘Australian Health Care – The Challenge of Reform in a Fragmented System’ New England Journal of Medicine 373(6), pp. 493-497

Health Workforce Australia. 2013. Health LEADS Australia: the Australian Health Leadership Framework, HWA: Adelaide

Hurley, J, & Hutchinson M. 2013. ‘Setting a course: a critical review of the literature on nurse leadership in Australia’ Contemporary Nurse 43(2), pp178-182

Johnson, CE. 2012, ‘Leader’s light and shadow’ in Johnson, CE Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership : casting light or shadow, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, pp3-38

Stange, KC. 2010. ‘Power to Advocate for Health’ Annals of Family Medicine 8, pp100-107

Taylor, R. & Martindale, S. 2013, ‘Clinical leadership in primary care’ Primary Health Care 23(5), pp32-28

Thompson, SJ. & Gifford, SM. 2000. ‘Trying to keep a balance: the meaning of health and diabetes in an urban aboriginal community’ Social Science & Medicine 51(10), pp1457-1472

Thompson SJ, Gifford, SM, Thorpe, SM 2000 ‘The social and cultural context of risk and prevention: food and physical activity in an urban aboriginal community’ Health Education and Behaviour 27(6): 725-743

UCL Institute of Health Equity (IHE), 2008. Fair Society Healthy Lives (The Marmot Review) IHE: London <>

Willis, E., Reynolds, L. & Keleher, H. 2012, Understanding the Australian health care system (2nd ed.), Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, Sydney, pp. 3-12.

World Health Organization 1978. Declaration of Alma-Ata WHO, Geneva

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:
For other resources/information refer to the Faculty of Health website (, the Health Student Guide ( and UTSOnline at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, old exam papers, academic writing guides, health literature databases, workshops, a gaming room and bookable group study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with all your questions.
W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.