Indigenous Disadvantage Essay

2085 Words Nov 21st, 2012 9 Pages
Working Effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

Why are Indigenous people in Australia still disadvantaged with regard to health care and services?

For the last 200 years Indigenous people have been victims of discrimination, prejudice and disadvantage. Poor education, poor living conditions and general poverty are still overwhelming issues for a large percentage of our people and we remain ‘as a group, the most poverty stricken sector of the working class’ in Australia (Cuthoys 1983).

As a people, our rate of chronic disease is still 2.5 times higher than that of other Australians, and Indigenous people in this country die 15 to 20 years younger than those in mainstream Australia. More than half of
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As a result of our history and because of the continuing disadvantage, our people have needs that differ from those of mainstream Australians. Therefore, it is also imperative that we acknowledge and respect the impact of events and issues in Indigenous people’s history when designing and delivering these services.

The social determinants of health include if a person is; working, feels safe in their community without discrimination, has a good education, has enough money, and feels connected to friends and family. Social determinants that are particularly important to many Indigenous people are; their connection to land, a historical past that took people from their traditional lands and away from their families. If a person feels safe, has a job that earns enough money, and feels connected to their family and friends, they will generally be healthier. Indigenous people are generally worse off than non-Indigenous people when it comes to the social determinants of health.

Additionally, it is important to develop policy and practice to address substance use among Indigenous people. Programs addressing alcohol and volatile substance use should be operated in combination with a range of

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