The Health of Indigenous Australians Essay

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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…show more content…
It was this day that was the start of a long dark history of cruelty and ill treatment towards the traditional custodians of Australia. Under the ‘terra nullius’ law, the Aboriginals lost their land, which is now known as dispossession. To justify this dispossession, the English followed the set of beliefs that are now identified as social Darwinism. “Social Darwinism, with its powerful racially based doctrines, ranked Indigenous Australians as inferior to Europeans and provided a rationale for dispossession by drawing on the ‘laws’ of natural selection to justify the ‘inevitable’ extinction of Indigenous Australians in the face of the arrival of the ‘superior’ white race” (Psychology and Indigenous Australians, Foundations of Cultural Competence, 2009, pp. 75). By having their land taken away from them, the Aboriginals lost part of their spiritual connection and their sense of belonging and identity because Aboriginal culture is based heavily on the spirits of the land. These connections that bonded the Aboriginals to the land were never understood by the English settlers, who only saw the land as possible income (Psychology and Indigenous Australians, Foundations of Cultural Competence, 2009.). They also lost a lot of their sacred areas, spiritual areas and meeting places because they were on the land that the white people had divided and fenced of the land that these areas were on and if an Aboriginal was trying to
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