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Mending the Health Gap in Australia Essay

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Terra nullius was a term used to define an uninhabited land with no evidence of agriculture or “civilization” a fabricated means for which to colonize and govern. Affectionately referred to as “the great southern land, or, the land of the fair go” Australian history is painted in the romantic shades of political, religious and western imperialism.
Unfortunately, history flows through the ink pens of the dominant, for the dominant, yielding social privileges attached to such high social status. This paper addresses the issue of dominance in psychology and highlights non-Indigenous notions of Indigenous inferiority including Indigenous notions of psychology. Above all, this paper highlights some of the critical ways in which psychology can assist to address inequality, health, and related effects of institutionalized racism.
The top down, racially conceited policies inflicted on Indigenous Australians as seen throughout pre/post-colonial history are certainly demoralizing, inhumane, and a salient reminder of Australia’s dark and ethnocentric past. French anthropologists, for instance measured finger, torso, toe, and the facial dimensions therein constituting the science of raciale (Evans, 2007; Donovan, 2002). From this, psychology used Indigenous people as objects by measuring skull size pertaining to intelligence (e.g., Louittit, 1932) and indeed, political, (Darwinism) lamentations of a “dying race” (Donovan, 2002). Which in turn served as the catalyst for the oppressive protectionist policies (e.g., The Aborigines Protection Amending Act 1915), an amendment premised on forcibly removing Aboriginal children from their families up until the1970s (Donovan, 2002). Thus, we must remain mindful of the dehumanized socio-poli...


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...and status and evaluate whether they are political, scientifically, or self-righteously motivated, that is, “shackled” by the chains of institutionalized racism, as opposed to liberated through their own cultural competence. The best mode of practice must match the obligations of the professional, by incorporating culturally flexible services and vigilance of implicit biases. Through our collective efforts to mend the health gap in Australia we will certainly forge a solid relationship with Indigenous Australia.
In the spirit of humanity, one must not lose scope of the fundamentals at the crux of psychology. That is, a professional, objective, and humane service delivery according to the contextual needs of the client accordingly. For, “that people should suffer from want in a world of excess, that is the greatest shame of all said.” (Bob Geldoff)









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