Family Health Care Health Issues and Australian Indigenous People Essay

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Indigenous Studies

Colonization can negatively impact indigenous populations in a plethora of ways. In Australia the results of colonization still linger and have profoundly effected the Aboriginal people of the country as it relates to illness and disease. Indigenous the purpose of this discussion is to examine the fact that Australians tend to carry an excessive burden of ill-health in comparison with Australia's non-Indigenous population. Many factors have complicated the health situation for the indigenous people of Australia including colonization, loss of land, loss of identity, exclusion from society, educational opportunities and employment opportunities plus health issues and a lack of health education. The research will specifically explore the ways in which colonization has contributed to ill health amongst indigenous groups in Australia.

Health problems affecting the Indigenous population

According to the Victorian Aboriginal health service, there are many diseases that disproportionately effect Aboriginal Australians. In fact the service points out that aboriginal people have higher rates of illness than an other group of people in Australia. More specifically the Australian Bureau of statistics reports that there are nearly 500,000 aboriinal people on the continent. In addition

"Of all the States and Territories, Victoria has the lowest number of indigenous people, accounting for only 0.5 per cent of the population. Compared to Aboriginal people living in other parts of Australia, the Victorian Koori

population reports the highest rates of recent illness (53.4%), chronic illness

(46.3%) and cigarette smoking (57.1%). According to the Victorian Aboriginal

Health Service, some of the main health issues confronting Koori people include smoking, diet, diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high blood pressure), stress, drugs, alcohol and poor children's health ("Aboriginal health issues")."

In addition to the aforementioned issues there are also other problems that disproportionately effect the indigenous population in Australia. For instance the aboriginal people have an infant mortality rate that is three times higher than Australians natural average ("Aboriginal health issues"). In addition an estimated ninety-percent of children five years and younger are exposed to cigarette smoke ("Aboriginal health issues"). Also middle ear infections are more amongst aboriginal children. Such infections can result in hearing problems and impair students in school ("Aboriginal health issues"). This can lead to serious respiratory problems and agitate existing problems such as asthma (Zubrick et al., 2005). Indigenous newborns are more likely to experience low birth weight. In addition to the aforementioned health issues indigenous people tend to suffer certain contagious diseases at much higher rates than do non-indigenous people. These diseases include, Meningitis, Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), HIV / AIDS. Salmonellosis and Tuberculosis ("Aboriginal health issues").

Causes of ill health and correlation to Colonization


The Victorian health services explains that some of the ill health amongst aboriginal people is due to poor diet. In many ways colonization can be blamed for poor diets because it displaced aboriginal people (McCalman et al. 2008). In addition access to water and the ability to hunt certain animals was severely interrupted by colonialism. For instance in Victoria, "The advance of the squatters and their millions of sheep from the mid-1830s had been disastrous for Aboriginal people, who lost access to water and hunting lands. If they took sheep instead of kangaroos, if they disputed rights to water, if they fought back, if they resisted the rape or abduction of women, they were killed (McCalman et al. 2005) ."

In this respect colonization brought about poor eating habits that continue to linger. Today indigenous people of Australia have more modern diets, this is particularly true of indigenous people who live in urbanized areas. The traditional die has been usurped because a great deal the original cultural was condemned when colonization took place. As such years of eating in ways that are contrary to the traditions of the indigenous people has led to poor health.

Psychological Stress

The introduction of colonization completely changed the way of life for many aboriginal people. Colonization was basically a form of terrorism because of the brazen manner in which… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Format

Family Health Care Health Issues and Australian Indigenous People.  (2010, March 17).  Retrieved January 25, 2020, from

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"Family Health Care Health Issues and Australian Indigenous People."  17 March 2010.  Web.  25 January 2020. <>.

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"Family Health Care Health Issues and Australian Indigenous People."  March 17, 2010.  Accessed January 25, 2020.