Issues affecting rural communities from an Indigenous Australian's perspective

Smallwood, Gracelyn (1994) Issues affecting rural communities from an Indigenous Australian's perspective. In: Proceedings of the Conference held by the Rural Education Research and Development Centre. pp. 305-307. From: International Conference on Issues Affecting Rural Communities, 10-15 July 1994, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.

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[Extract] Prior to the European invasion of Australia in 1788, indigenous Australians lived in harmony with themselves and their environment for over 60,000 years. Like all indigenous communities of the world who have been conquered, all have suffered: a) loss of land b) loss of culture c) loss of identity d) loss of self-esteem e) institutionalisation f) discrimination g) isolation

The consequences of these factors have left a profound legacy of poverty, appalling standards of health and an almost total dependence on the largess or parsimony of Governments and their various bureaucratic arms. A recent delegation to Australia from the World Council of Churches, described conditions in remote Aboriginal communities as worse than fourth world. Despite this tragic state of affairs we must all look for solutions that can lead to a healthy and independent future for our children. There is no simple solution, but rather we must come to understand the interconnectiveness of all these issues, which impact on the socio-economic well-being of our people. In other words, we need to ensure that all communities have access to the following:

a) clean running water b) proper sanitation c) adequate housing d) accessible and affordable nutritional food e) comprehensive community controlled health services f) culturally relevant and appropriate educational facilities and curriculum g) development of an economic base that will lead to increased self-esteem and prosperity for the whole community h) reinforcement of traditional cultural values

Unless this is formulated and implemented we will continue to see further deterioration in indigenous communities.

Item ID: 25162
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-0-86443-524-8
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2013 22:41
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education @ 50%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940102 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Development and Welfare @ 100%
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