Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander connection to culture: building stronger individual and collective wellbeing

Summer M. Finlay, Karla Canuto, Kootsy Canuto, Nadia Neal, Raymond W. Lovett

Research output: Contribution to journalOther Journal Articlepeer-review

Abstract

The focus on how to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and nations has largely centred on the social determinants of health, 1 which have been defined as: the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life. These forces and systems include economic policies and systems, development agendas, social norms, social policies and political systems. 2 However, limited analysis from Australia shows that between half and two- thirds of the current inequity is unexplained when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non- Indigenous populations are compared. 3- 5 What this means is that where an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person has the same education, socio-economic position and level of health behaviour, disparity of health outcomes decreases by about a third. Still, the disparity is not eliminated. 6 To reach equal life chances (as per the stated national policy goal of Closing the Gap), we need to understand the currently unexplained 47% of the contribution to the gap.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-16
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Volume214
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

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