Essay about Indigenous Health

1500 Words6 Pages
“The status of Indigenous health in contemporary Australia is a result of historic factors as well as contemporary socio-economic issues” (Hampton & Toombs, 2013, p. 1). The poor health position of Indigenous Australians is a contemporary reflection of their historical treatment as Australia’s traditional owners. This treatment has led to Indigenous Australians experiencing social disadvantages, significantly low socio-economic status, dispossession, poverty and powerlessness as a direct result of the institutionalised racism inherent in contemporary Australian society. Indigenous populations have been the carers and custodians of Australia and the Torres Strait for a period in excess of 60,000 years before being…show more content…
The National Inquiry into the separation of the children concluded that 'between one-in-three and one-in-ten Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families and communities in the period from approximately 1910 until 1970' (Wilkie, 1997). It was the 1960s, at the earliest, when the various 'protection' Acts were either abolished or discontinued. In the early 1890’s, protectionism gave way to state and commonwealth government regimes of segregation. In the development of the constitution, politicians included sections specifically excluding Indigenous Australians, such as the white Australia policy, ensuring that racism became entrenched in the new nation’s future. Reserves and missions were set up far from white settlements, to exclude and control Indigenous Australians, especially those of mixed descent (Hampton & Toombs, Racism, colonisation/colonialism and impacts on indigenous people, 2013). By the 1950’s all state governments invoked a new policy called assimilation (1950’s – 1960’s), which aimed to eliminate Indigenous cultures, religion and languages. Assimilation was based on the belief that if living conditions were improved, Indigenous Australians were to be absorbed into White Australian society (Hampton & Toombs, Racism, colonisation/colonialism and impacts on indigenous people, 2013). After the failure of the assimilation policy, governments aimed their sights towards Integration (1960’s - 1980’s). Integration was a step towards
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