Dreamtime can also refer to a specific geographic or topographic point or a totem spirit (animal spirit recognized as a kin group's ancestor). It is an all–pervasive philosophy that permeates all aspects of Aboriginal life (Nowak, 2010). A group associated with a totem shares a mystical connection. Aboriginal people believe that they are like their totem and that the totem gave birth to their ancestors in a mythical time. The association between people and their totem is so strong that Aboriginal people believe their health is linked to the totem's wellbeing.
Our own thoughts and experiences on the values of health and wellness are strongly influenced by the people we live with, family and our peers (Nettleton 2006, p.1). An individual may have lay understandings and perceive health and illness differently because of many factors including race, cultural beliefs and ethnicity (Young 2004, p.19). Nettleton (2006, p.34) states, “Lay beliefs are shaped by a persons social environment, cultural context, social identity and personal beliefs”. The Australian Aboriginal unlike the rest of wider Australian population view health as very “holistic” which incorporates, mental, cultural, physical and spiritual health. Land is also fundamental to well being.
Racism has given them the wrong identity of being violent, unhealthy, sickly, poor and uneducated; it is just traumatic, when in fact all of these happened because of their exposure to racism (Creative Spirits 2013). If we can only appreciate what they are before they were colonised, certainly our view to them will be different and their identity would not as what is
This postcolonial idea is emphasised when the indigenous people are considered sub-human and among the wildlife (“Government of Western Australia, Fisheries, Forestry, wildlife and Aborigines”). This categorisation of the Aboriginal people by the British settlers highlights their inner belief that they are the superior race. In addition to this, the Europeans assumed that the Aboriginals were unclean and uncivilised human beings which is seen when Mr Neville states “I was a little concerned to see so many dirty little noses” and forces them out of their homes to Moore River as a result of a false scabies epidemic. The irony in this movement is that the majority of Aboriginals were healthy and, through the colonising power handed over to the settlers, they also reduced the rations of soap given to the Aboriginals. The first Australians were labelled savages, less than human, by the colonising British settlers who forcibly took over
(Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [AIHW], 2005). These are: Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions, Asthma, Cancer Control, Cardiovascular Health, Diabetes Mellitus, Injury Prevention and Control and Mental Health. Poor diet and nutrition, combined with physical inactivity are among some of the most significant factors contributing to the prevalence of
Today Aborigines are suffering from obesity, high blood pressure, kidney ailments and early death. Policy writers need to consider the social and emotional wellbeing of Australian Aborigines in context. In order for the voices of Aboriginal people to be an integral part of policy planning they need to be heard and
Moreover, the Commissioners found that contemporary Aboriginal disadvantage and inequality is 'linked directly to the processes of disempowerment which had occurred through two hundred years of domination [and is thus] the historical legacy of colonisation' (Cunneen, C, 1997, page 4 You may wish to search for this article for a more expanded read). Consequently, Commissioner Elliott Johnston concluded that 'the over-representation of Aboriginal people in custody, and the deaths of some of them, are part of the ongoing conflict between 'coloniser' and 'colonised'' (National Report, volume 1, 1991, page 4). The legacies of colonisation or underlying issues identified and examined by the Royal Commission that we will be exploring throughout this course, are of utmost concern to contemporary Indigenous Australians. They include: * racism and the history of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relations * dispossession of
Religion and Belief Systems in Australia Post – 1945 Contemporary Aboriginal Spiritualities Aboriginal spirituality is determined by the Dreaming A person who [is accepted by] identifies with an Aboriginal community. The dreaming is expressed in a physical sense through kinship systems, ceremonial life, obligations to the land and people. Dreaming is the beginning of all things, its refers to events and places, it affect all of life. It is the past, present and future. Aboriginal sacred stories are stories about events of the Dreamtime and how Ancestor formed the land and founded life on the land.
People living in the most deprived areas have much greater mortality rates and lower life expectancy (Jones and Douglas 2012). In terms of health inequalities the most important factor is the wider “upstream” social determinants of ill health. (Orton et al 2011). The factors deemed social determinants of ill health include adverse living environments, poor education, stress, social exclusion. (Marmot et al 2008 cited in Joyce and Bambra 2010).
• Assimilation policies, such as removing children from Indigenous families. One of the consequences of psychological distress is that Indigenous people have predisposition to “suicide and intentional self harm; anger and aggression and also problems with gambling; and smoking.” (Kelly, K., et al., (2009), pg. 11.). Removal of the Indigenous children was one of the most vital factors that contributed to their psychological distress, emotional and mental health problems which then lead to poorer physical health and chronic disease (Barlett, B., Legge, D., (1994). To conclude, social determinants such as inequitable social policy, social injustice and unfair economic arrangements and poor politics further affected Australian Indigenous people’s social and emotional wellbeing through: • Poverty and Poor housing • Overcrowding • Poor standard of domestic and community hygiene • Lack of education and knowledge • Lack of employment opportunities • Psychological distress • Cultural dislocation and loss of power, discrimination • Identity issue (language groups and traditional