In the past decade, there has been an increasing emphasis on the health of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, which is significantly worse than that of non-Indigenous Australians. For the period 1999-2001, the life expectancy for Indigenous males was 56 years and for Indigenous females 65 years, somewhat lower than the 77 years and 82 years recorded for all Australian males and females respectively (ABS &AIHW 2003 ). Despite a range of initiatives, there has been little overall improvement in Indigenous health over the past decade. This is in stark contrast to that of the Indigenous populations of New Zealand, Canada and the United States. One of the key issues in the current debates about how to address this apparent Jack of improvement in Australia is that of governance, given the increasing focus on community control, and thus devolution of decision-making and service responsibility to local communities. This partnering arrangement between Commonwealth and State/Territory governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is essentially the process of governance referred to in this study. The study will draw upon the work of Stoker (1998) to argue that, in this process. the boundaries between and within public and private actors have become blurred, and that governance is affected by a number of factors including changing political and social environments, pressure from outside groups, and most importantly, by factors within the administrative process itself. Issues related to the nature and processes of governance in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, particularly as they relate to health, will be examined, and some conclusions drawn about the capacity of community-controlled health services to achieve the desired outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.