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The paper discusses the history of the colonisation of the Australian continent by white Europeans and how it has had a tremendous impact on the culture, psychology and overall health of the Aboriginals. The paper reveals that the Aboriginals tend to live in poor housing conditions, have poor access to health care, poor nutrition, high levels of substance misuse and a higher mortality rate than the rest of the population. The paper looks at the creation and implementation of public health policy and specifically looks at the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition Strategy and Action Plan (NATSINSAP).
From the Paper:"Beginning in 1788, the colonisation of Australia exposed the Aboriginal people to a onslaught of socio-economic, political and cultural influences that led to extremely rapid and quite distressing psychosocial change to the people as well as environmental displacement and shock. 'Such change was marked by a series of specific policy areas including segregation/protection, assimilation, integration, self-determination and self-management.' (Eckermann 1999: 5). These policies were firmly based and their foundations supported by current scientific theory that bred a particularly malicious form of institutional racism. This scientific racism assisted the Empire in justifying the dispossession and geographic alienation of the indigenous population. Darwin's evolutionary theory was key to an early conception of the Aboriginal people who were perceived as good examples of an earlier less evolved from of mankind. In the 1920s evolutionism was replaced with structural functionalism, which focused on the different parts of a society, the interrelationships between these parts and how they work to maintain equilibrium within a system. In Australia, this meant a shift from studying racial characteristics of 'primitive man' to studying the cultural characteristics of Indigenous societies. One of the leading figures within this tradition in Australia was A.P. Elkin, whose work was very influential in indigenous policy development. However, most attention was paid to 'traditional' culture and 'full-blood' Aboriginal people."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Anderson, Ian, and John Douglass Whyte. 2006. 'Australian Federalism and Aboriginal Health.' Australian Aboriginal Studies 2006:5-15
- Bazzano, LA, He J., Ogden, LG. 2002. 'Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Risk of cardiovascular disease in Adults: the First national Health and Nutrition Follow-up Survey epidemiologic Follow-up Study.' American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 76.1: 93-99
- Carson, Bronwyn, Terry Dunbar, Richard D. Chenhall, and Ross Bailie, eds. 2007. Social Determinants of Indigenous Health. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin.
- Eckermann, Anne-Katrin. 1999. "Aboriginal Education in Rural Australia: A Case Study in Frustration and Hope." Australian Journal of Education 43:5.
- Finlayson, Julie. 2001. 'Anthropology's Contribution to Public Policy Formulation: The Imagined Other?.' Australian Aboriginal Studies 2001:18-22
Cite this Term Paper:
Aboriginal Health in Australia (2012, May 18) Retrieved December 04, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/aboriginal-health-in-australia-151030/
"Aboriginal Health in Australia" 18 May 2012. Web. 04 December. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/aboriginal-health-in-australia-151030/>