Essay about The Health of Indigenous Australians

Essay about The Health of Indigenous Australians

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As health professionals, we must look beyond individual attributes of Indigenous Australians to gain a greater understanding and a possible explanation of why there are such high rates of ill health issues such as alcoholism, depression, abuse, shorter life expectancy and higher prevalence of diseases including diabetes, heart disease and obesity in our indigenous population. Looking at just the individual aspects and the biomedical health model, we don’t get the context of Aboriginal health. This is why we need to explore in further detail what events could have created such inequities in Aboriginal health. Other details that we should consider are the historical and cultural factors such as, ‘terra nullius’, dispossession and social Darwinism, early attempts of genocide towards Indigenous Australians, segregation and the ‘protection’ legislation, the assimilation policy, self-determination and “the emergence of Indigenous protest” (Psychology and Indigenous Australians, Foundations of Cultural Competence, 2009, pp.84) as well as the limiting factors of being part of a low socioeconomic status group and statistical health differences between Indigenous Australians and non-Indigenous Australians compared to other countries Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. By encompassing all of these details, we can begin to establish why Aboriginal’s tend to have more health issues and what can be done to improve these health inequities.
When the English settlers arrived on Australian shores in 1776 (The Story of the Australian People, 2010), they didn’t see anything that represented that the land was owned, so they claimed it as their own under ‘terra nullius’ in 1776. “In International Law 'terra nullius' describes territory that n...


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Australian Museum. (2011). Indigenous Australia Timeline - 1901 to 1969. Retrieved May 5, 2012, from http://australianmuseum.net.au/Indigenous-Australia-Timeline-1901-to-1969

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. (2008). Wave Hill Walk-Off Route more information. Retrieved May 6, 2012, from http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/national/wave-hill/information.html



Australia Bureau of Statistics. (2010). ADULT HEALTH: RISK FACTORS AND SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS. Retrieved May 6, 2012, from http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/lookup/4704.0Chapter750Oct+2010


Australia Bureau of Statistics. . (2010). ACCESS TO HEALTH AND COMMUNITY SERVICES: ACCESS TO HEALTH SERVICES. Retrieved May 6, 2012, from http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/lookup/4704.0Chapter955Oct+2010

Indigenous Health Lecture, Slide 8.


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