Multicultural Perspectives on Health and Wellbeing/Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

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The factors that underlie Aboriginal Australian health are complex and rooted in the 50,000 years of history that pre-dated European arrival, the ongoing effects of colonisation and current processes of reconciliation. The provision of appropriate and accessible health services for Aboriginal people therefore necessitates recognition and understanding of these historical and cultural influences. The concepts of cultural safety and cultural competence in service provision form a framework within which the unique history and cultures of Aboriginal Australians are recognised. These frameworks are used in mainstream services to address the barriers Aboriginal Australians may face in obtaining appropriate care, including racism and discrimination, miscommunication between service providers and clients, and a history of conflict between health service providers and communities. In addition to efforts to improve cultural competence in mainstream organisations, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) have been essential in enabling Aboriginal communities to develop services that effectively meet their needs and provide support across the range of social factors that influence health.

BCCYMCA Australia


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  1. Guest speaker to conduct part of workshop
  2. Review of lecture, "Aboriginal health"
  3. Group work
  4. Making a multimedia presentation - show examples of student videos
  5. Immigration Museum visit - example of student work


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  1. Brown, J., Hayes, R. and Gleeson, D. 2014, Aboriginal health policy: is nutrition the ‘gap’ in ‘Closing the Gap’? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 38 (4), 362-369.
  2. Ferdinand, A., Paradies, Y. & Kelaher, M. 2012, Mental Health Impacts of Racial Discrimination in Victorian Aboriginal Communities: The Localities Embracing and Accepting Diversity (LEAD) Experiences of Racism Survey (Summary Report), The Lowitja Institute, Melbourne.
  3. Bulman, J., & Hayes, R. (2011). Mibbinbah and Spirit Healing: Fostering Safe, Friendly Spaces for Indigenous Males in Australia. International Journal of Men's Health, 10(1), 6-25.
  4. Weiner, D. and M. Canales, "It Is Not Just Diabetes": Engaging Ethnographic Voices to Develop Culturally Appropriate Health Promotion Efforts, (2014). American Indian Culture and Research Journal. 38(1): p. 73-100.
  5. Senior K, Chenhall R. Health beliefs and behavior: The practicalities of "looking after yourself" in an Australian Aboriginal community. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 2013; 27(2): 155-74.
  6. Kelaher M, Ferdinand A, Paradies Y. Experiencing racism in health care: the mental health impacts for Victorian Aboriginal communities. Medical Journal of Australia 2014; 201(1): 1-4.
  7. McBain-Rigg KE, Veitch C. Cultural barriers to health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Mount Isa. Australian Journal of Rural Health 2011; 19(2): 70-4.
  8. Durey A, Wynaden D, Thompson SC, Davidson PM, Bessarab D, Katzenellenbogen JM. Owning solutions: a collaborative model to improve quality in hospital care for Aboriginal Australians. Nurs Inq 2012; 19(2): 144-52.
  9. Kendall E, Barnett L. Principles for the development of Aboriginal health interventions: culturally appropriate methods through systemic empathy. Ethnicity & Health 2014: 1-16.


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  1. Indigenous health - a video playlist compiled by Sabrina Gupta
  2. Noel Pearson eulogy at Gough Whitlam's funeral,
  3. Paul Keating Redfern speech,

Copies to the LMS after the event