Issues Affecting The Community Of Aboriginal

Issues Affecting The Community Of Aboriginal

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Issues Affecting The Community Of Aboriginal

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Issues Affecting The Community Of Aboriginal

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You are required to identify an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community or tribe in your area of practice. Explore various aspects of their culture and prevailing issues affecting the community and their engagement with community services and health systems.

Aboriginal people are considered as the first inhabitants of Australia. These are the people who are of aboriginal descent, determined as an aboriginal individual and are acknowledged by the community in which they live. Culture has huge significance in these communities and it consists of several ceremonies and practices that are centered on the belief of dreaming or dreamtime. It is carefully protected and is passed from one generation to another. It is also significant in ill-health and health. Healthcare services are also recognizing its importance in health improvements of aboriginals and are including culture-based treatment.
For Aboriginal Australians dreaming or dreamtime signifies the period when Ancestral sprits proceeded over the land and formed life and significant geographic physical formations and sites. Dreaming describes the origin of the world and working of humanity and nature (Alderdice, 2014). It structures and shapes life by the understanding and regulation of family life, obligations to individuals and relations between genders, spirits and lands. dreaming allows them to know their place in nature and traditional society and links their past spiritual world with the present as well as future.
Law also plays significant role as it ensures the access to justice and helps to prevents violence. They also assist to determine solutions to systematic issues in the justice system on the basis of their cultural knowledge and local experiences. Effective law also helps to provide them with basic human rights and decrease inequality and discrimination.
In aboriginal community kinship is an important system as it determines how individuals relate to one another and their obligations, responsibilities and roles in relation to each other, ritual business and land. It also determines ceremonial relationships, behavioral patterns with another kin, funeral roles and who marries who (Kingsley & Townsend, 2013). It is an essential part of entire social organization. In this community personal names are hardly used and individuals are addressed by kinship terms.  This system does not only set out the obligations and rights but it also provides people with a guide to their own behavior. It also provides them confidence so that the expected behavior of other people whom they might see is also expectable.
European settlement:
The aboriginal people were highly affected by the European settlement. They were exposed to several new violent conflicts and diseases that led to high number of deaths (Desai, 2015). Those who were not killed were traumatized by this and affected their future generations as well.
Many children of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander were separated from their families by Australian government which is known as stolen generation or stolen children.  It had huge negative impact on both families and children. The people from stolen generations mostly suffer from loneliness, loss of identity, low self-esteem, mistrusting others, legal issues, problems to find religious beliefs, intergenerational traumas, incapable of managing relationships, abuse, loss of culture, loss of land etc. Due to loss of land and culture in past resulted in drastic decrease in their population. Many of them were killed and died because of malnutrition. These incidents still have impact on today’s aboriginal people. Many aboriginals are still traumatized and are vulnerable to mental health issues. They face difficulty to take any role in the spiritual and cultural life of their communities. They also do not know anything about their culture and their traditional lands
There are several political, social, cultural or historical and economic issues that have huge impact on the aboriginal community.
Political issues:
Due to lack of proper policies and human rights they face several problems. They are the victims of high levels of racism. They are socially excluded from mainstream and elite power structures. These factors have huge impact on their health outcome causing a huge gap in health outcome between aboriginals and other Australians (Markwick, et al., 2014). They even face discrimination and inequalities while accessing healthcare and community services, lack of employment opportunities, biased criminal justice system etc.
Impact of discrimination, trauma, negative attitudes:
Discrimination, exclusion, negative attitudes and trauma gives rise to issues like mental health problems increases criminal activity, substantial abuse, domestic or family violence, lack of involvement in social activities etc.
Social issues:
Social issues include domestic violence, assaults, illiteracy, unemployment, substantial abuse, rape etc. women are high vulnerable to domestic violence, rape and assaults.  These issues affect the mental as well as physical health of these people. It reduces their health outcomes, life expectancy; increases morbidity and mortality rate, and also increases child abuse, suicidal rates, alcohol abuse etc.
Economic issues:
Due to economic issues like financial crisis, low income, poor socio-economic etc. they often face financial hardship, social isolation, crime, debt, family breakdown, homelessness. They even encounter problems to access healthcare facilities, school and college facilities for their children due to high cost (Taylor, 2010).
Cultural issues:
Cultural and language barriers lead to the health inequity among Australian aboriginals. Due to lack of culture-based healthcare services in many healthcare centers they don’t seek medical help and instead engage in their traditional treatment (Li, 2017). They also suffer from higher rate of child and infant mortality, age standardized deaths and low birth weight due to cultural differences.
Factors affecting health: 
There are several risk factors that contribute to the health issues in aboriginal people which includes: lack of accessibility to healthcare services, poverty, unemployment, breastfeeding practices, tobacco use by pregnant women, dependency ratios, single parent families, drug and alcohol abuse, gender, trauma, racism, dietary behaviors, body weight, level of physical activities, unsafe sexual contacts etc. (Waterworth & Pescud, 2015).
Common diseases:
These people are more likely to have health issues like respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, mental health issues, chronic kidney disease and diabetes. Due to issues like trauma, loss and grief, violence, poverty, discrimination they suffer from mental health problems like depression, dementia etc.
Health issues like diabetes, obesity, constant infections, sexually transmitted diseases, pneumonia, rheumatic heart disease, rheumatic fever, dental health problems, blinding cataract, physical disability are also common among these people (Kowanko, et al., 2011). Chronic kidney disease is one of the common health issue that affects aboriginal people. kidney failure and issues are common among elderly aboriginals.
It is evident that aboriginal people give utmost importance to their culture and traditions. They are at greater disadvantage in comparison to non-aboriginal people. Their culture involves ceremonies and practices based on the belief of dreaming. Due to European settlement they are still suffering causing mental health problems, lack of identity etc. They face several social, political economic and cultural issues which has huge impact on their community. Hence, the government should develop and implement effective polices so that it addresses all the issues of these group of people.
Alderdice, J. L., 2014. The Nightmare for Aboriginal People and its Relation to Dreamtime. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 11(3), pp. 217-229.
Desai, H., 2015. The Effect of Colonization on the Aboriginal People’s Culture and Religion. Diffusion- The Uclan Journal of Undergraduate Research, 8(2).
Kingsley, J. & Townsend, M., 2013. Developing an Exploratory Framework Linking Australian Aboriginal Peoples’ Connection to Country and Concepts of Wellbeing. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public , 10(2), p. 678–698.
Kowanko, I., Helps, Y., Harvey, P. & Battersby, M., 2011. Chronic Condition Management Strategies in Aboriginal Communities. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 22 June 2018].
Li, J., 2017. Cultural barriers lead to inequitable healthcare access for aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders. Chinese Nursing Research, 4(4), pp. 207-210.
Markwick, A., Ansari, Z. & Sullivan, 2014. Inequalities in the social determinants of health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People: a cross-sectional population-based study in the Australian state of Victoria. International Journal for Equity in Health, 13(19), pp. 1-12.
Taylor, J., 2010. Contemporary management issues for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services. Australian Health Review, 24(3), pp. 25-132.
Waterworth, P. & Pescud, M., 2015. Factors Influencing the Health Behaviour of Indigenous Australians: Perspectives from Support People. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 22 June 2018

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