AUSTRALIAN ASSIMILATION AND THE IMPACT ON ABORIGINAL HEALTH: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS

3055 Words Dec 11th, 2011 13 Pages
AUSTRALIAN ASSIMILATION AND THE IMPACT ON ABORIGINAL HEALTH: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS

Australia and its Indigenous Society:
Australia is one of the world’s most culturally diverse societies and it is commonly assumed that the country offers free and fair opportunities to all its inhabitants. However, on close observation it is clearly evident that the country’s indigenous population is at a social and economic disadvantage when compared to their non-indigenous counterparts and as a consequence the present aboriginal health is in a grave situation.
The purpose of this report is to critically analyze the effect of the Australian assimilation policy on the current health status of the aboriginals through various factors such as education,
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From the time the Europeans migrated into the country aboriginal culture and education has been given a step motherly treatment. Till the year 1972 schools refused admissions to aboriginal children if any objections were raised by the white settlers and according to the Board of National Education it was “impracticable to attempt to provide any form of education for the children of the blacks” (Education Fact Sheet 2007).
Though education was considered as one of the ways to assimilate the aboriginals the quality of schools and teachers were of substandard nature. Aboriginal schools were established on reserves with no proper teachers and the aboriginal children had access to proper primary and secondary education only in 1950 and 1960 respectively (Education Fact Sheet 2007).
Reports have proved that the governmental educational policies of the past have played a major part in low educational outcomes of the aboriginals and the numerous dropouts in the secondary level. In the year 2003 the representation of aboriginal students in the vocational training and the higher education sectors were a meager 3% and 1% respectively (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006). According to the ABS (2004), only 39% of the aborigines completed their 12th standard while 22% undertook vocational training. A meager 4% had a bachelor’s degree.
Health and lack of education form a vicious cycle. While lack of
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