Australia Indigenous Health
Indigenous Health Status
In week 3, the lecture focused on overall structure that involves the Australian health system and the position of the Australian indigenous health. From this lectures i understood that there is a vast gap within indigenous group and non-indigenous people regarding their health status. Based on history, the Australian aboriginal natives were affected emotionally, culturally and socially after their exclusion in Australian constitution of 1901 as part of Australia population (“Reconciliation Australia” 3). Throughout the political development in Australia, the discussion indicates that though in 1967 a broad partisan agreement to eradicate self discrimination in favor of social justice was in place, a vast gap still exists between the two groups (“Report of the Expert Panel 80”). Theoretically, it can be argued that it is the political power differences that created the gap between the indigenous and the non-indigenous group (Pholi 2). Additionally, it is perceived that the indigenous group act of recognition led to discrimination. The government engaged into disposing activities by taking indigenous lands and eradicated informal way of life through ignorance, exclusion and prejudice with the failure of considering the hearts and minds of Australian indigenous group (“Discover Stories” 1)
Week 3 studies indicate that the Australian indigenous health status is wanting. Basically, the challenges are spearheaded by discrimination of the indigenous group. In comparison to the Australian non-indigenous, the indigenous groups experiences high infant mortality rate, more likely to be hospitalized while having a shorter life expectancy of about 20 years less (“Australian Government” 8). Additionally, exact data has indicated that 95% of juveniles are Australian Indigenous children, 30 to 80 percent of domestic violence is experienced by indigenous women which are more of the national average and 3% of the indigenous people are more likely to commit suicide in comparison to non-indigenous group (Leo 25). Generally, the indigenous health status is lower than the mainstream of the Australian non-indigenous group. The indigenous group widely represents a cohort segment that is unhealthy based on education disadvantage, high poverty status, the children, and, the criminalized indigenous group (Gordon 32).
Colonial History of Indigenous Health
The introduction of week 5 lecture introduced the topic colonial history and indigenous health by looking the Australia policies and their effects in indigenous health. Week 5 discussions led to the understanding that for more than 200 years, the Australian oppressive policies positioned by the colonial governance led towards fomented poverty and diseases that affected health of Aboriginals (“Australian Human Rights Commission”). It all began with the intergenerational policies that are perceived to be of the disadvantage. The colonialist tried to eradicate the indigenous group by taking indigenous children away from their families. It is further believed that the colonial government used smallpox epidemic disease to eradicate the indigenous group. Though the Christian missionaries such as Anglican and Catholic Church tried to assist the indigenous group, it is noted that missionaries work criticized the indigenous group cultural practices hence the poor aid delivery to the group.
Criticism has been on the rise on whom to blame for such practices. The week 5 discussions indicated that Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, refuted the claims that the current generation needs to pose an apology to the old generation. The minister claims that it’s inappropriate for the current generation to apologize for the wrong of the other generation (Davies 1). Contrarily to the prime minister argument, it is well known that the previous generation wrong doing will always pose an impact to the newer generation. This implies that the previous wrong doings is continuously affecting the current indigenous health status. Additionally, Howards contradicts himself when he celebrated the sacrifices made by fore soldiers at Gallipoli and the transfer of the wealth from the ancestors to the current non-indigenous group (Davies 1). As such, Howard can be critiqued as a glorifier of wealth resources and not justice or equality that affected the indigenous group. Contrarily to Howard’s philosophical understandings, Person’s argument on the responsibility agenda focuses on the social justice for the indigenous group hence indigenous group needs to rise up through self-determination (Pearson 1).
Racism and Indigenous Health
Week 6 work focused on tears that the indigenous group shed as a result of racism whereby the white people believed that they are superior while indicating indigenous as an inferiority group. It is in this stage that the non-indigenous group believed that they will succeed and the indigenous group will perish, which was happening. Based on the eugenics, the superior group believed that it was right to discourage the reproduction by persons from indigenous group because they posed negative traits to the community. From the week 6 work, it can easily be deduced that racism has an indirect relationship towards the Australian indigenous health. Racism in Australia emerged in the 19th century. According to Markus’s trope, his argument positioned the indigenous as the source of pollution, disease, defilement, destruction and death. Markus’s trope argument was believed to be truth whereby more than 70 countless cases of indigenous children being removed from school because of threat of contamination while indigenous patients were being treated in separate wards with little services available. As such, the indigenous groups were being isolated from social interaction with the non-indigenous members. Generally, it can be argued that the Australian community spearheaded both the scientific and institutional racism across the indigenous groups through oppression, segregation, marginalization and stripping the basic human rights requirements from the group.
Currently, Australia is among the leading countries that are fighting against racism. The country agreed to carry its burden of historical racism by strategizing on how to eradicate it. Some of the practices include freedom rides from the SAFA and matching to the Moree swimming pools protesting on the indigenous denial of freedom rights based on racism (“National Museum Australia” 1) Contrarily to the efforts that has lasted more than 200 years, very little has changed. Few people, both from indigenous and the non-indigenous, still believe that individual capabilities are dictated based on skin color. In summary, the module has provided vast information regarding the indigenous and non-indigenous group in Australia. Based on the historical findings, it can be argued that indigenous groups have been oppressed in Australia and the outcome showcases that their health status is negatively affected.
Australian Human Rights Commission. “Social Determinants and the Health of Indigenous Peoples in Australia- A Human Rights Based Approach”. https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/speeches/social-determinants-and-health-indigenous-peoples-australia-human-rights-based
Australian Government. “Mortality and Life Expectancy of Indigenous Australians”. 8http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=6012954846, 2012, p. 8.
Davies, Anne. Apology was a Mistake, Says Feisty Howard. Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2008, p. 1.
Discover Stories. “Era 5: Recognition” http://www.australianstogether .org.au/stories/detail/recognition, 2016.
Gordon, Jenny. Deep and Persistent Disadvantage in Australia: Productivity Commission Staff Working Papers. Commonwealth of Australia, 2013, p. 32.
Leo, De. Suicide Research. Selected Readings, vol. 13, 2015, p. 25.
National Museum Australia. “Collaborating for Indigenous Rights” http://indigenousrights.net.au/civil_rights/freedom_ride,_1965, 2016, p. 1
Pholi, Kerryn. “Is ‘Close the Gap’ a useful Approach to Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Indigenous Australians?” Australian Review of Public Affairs, vol. 9, no. 2, 2012, p. 2.
Pearson, Noel. “Contradiction Cloud Apology to the Stolen Generation” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/when-words-arent-enough/story-e6frg6z6-1111115528371, 2008, p. 1.
Reconciliation Australia. ” Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Australian and the Constitution” https://www.reconciliation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Recognising-Aboriginal-and-Torres-Strait-Islander-people-in-the-Australian-Constitution.pdf, 2013, p. 3.
Report of the Expert Panel. “Recognizing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Peoples in the Constitution”. http://www.recognise.org.au/wp-content/uploads/shared/uploads/assets/3446_FaHCSIA_ICR_report_text_Bookmarked_PDF_12_Jan_v4.pdf, 2012, p. 80.