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|Title:||A study of the relationship between Aboriginal living conditions and health|
Indigenous Heath Studies
|Abstract:||"In a real sense, all life is interrelated. All persons are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever effects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." - Martin Luther King. The impact of poor housing on the health of Aboriginal people in particular and the relationship between health and housing in general is the subject of this paper. It is predominantly a review of literature that investigates these issues, providing results from research that implicate various aspects of the living environment to physical and mental health, documenting historic and prehistoric evidence of Aboriginal housing and lifestyles, and contrasting these with the post invasion situation, and noting specific reference to Aboriginal housing and its impact on health. A background narrative provides a personal account of work in Aboriginal communities in NSW over the duration of several healthhousing projects. The paper relates some of the changes in the housing and lifestyles of Aboriginal people in Australia since the arrival of European settlers. It also describes the changes in Aboriginal health status. The greed for land and resources and the racist and ethnocentric attitudes of the new arrivals is attributed with ensuring these changes were predominantly detrimental for Aboriginal people. Government policies informing housing and associated infrastructure provision often reflected and supported these attitudes. Poor quality, inappropriate or insufficient housing is considered to have largely been characteristic of the housing provision to Aboriginal people. The complexity of the issues precludes the advancement of any clear and general solution to address the current Aboriginal housing and health situation. However, an argument for community consultation, participation and empowerment, a consideration of the multi-causal factors in disease and the need to integrate service delivery mechanisms to enable a multi-disciplinary approach is advanced together with a consideration for the past and an appreciation for our shared human responsibility to uphold the rights of all people, including the right to a safe and healthy living environment.|
|Description:||Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this material may contain references to or images of people who have died.|
|Department/Unit/Centre:||Indigenous Heath Studies|
|Rights and Permissions:||The author retains copyright of this work.|
|Type of Work:||Thesis, Honours|
|Appears in Collections:||Indigenous Health Theses (Open Access Collection)|
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|MACLACHLAN_T_2000_STUDY.pdf||10.03 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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