How The Disadvantaged Social Status Of The First Australians Impacted Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Children
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The occupation of Australia involved an inventory of prejudiced and misguided policies against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that manifested in the “dispossession, physical ill-treatment, social disruption, population decline, economic exploitation, codified discrimination and cultural devastation of the first people of this land” (Vos, Barker, Begg, Stanley & Lopez, 2008, p. 471). It is undisputed that compared with mainstream Australians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are still experiencing significantly worse health, social and economic outcomes. This essay will investigate how the disadvantaged social status of the First Australians has impacted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s health,…show more content… The Australian Bureau of Statistics (2005) states Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience lower levels of employment, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait adults in 2002 being more than twice as likely to be unemployed, compared to mainstream Australian adults.
According to international research, there is indication that low socioeconomic status is associated with poor health and increased exposure to health risk factors (Blakely, Hales & Woodward, 2004; Turrell & Mathers, 2000; Carson, Dunbar, Chenhall & Ballie, 2007, as cited in Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008). Data shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people without completion of education were more likely to habitually smoke, consume high volumes of alcohol, engage in low levels of exercise and were less likely to eat fruit and vegetables on a day-to-day basis (ABS, 2008). Other social influences relating to the issue of poor health include low income, unhygienic living conditions and remote location (Healey, 2002). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with low income have little available funds for purchasing health care and dietary needs and those living in remote areas have restricted access to health facilities and resources (ABS, 2008; Australian HealthInfoNet, 2013).
From this, it is evident that due to the social status and outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, an