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Core Issues Faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Today’s Society

Introduction to Food Insecurity Among Older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

In the current time, the Indigenous and the Torres Islanders group of people constitutes near to 3.3 percent of the complete population of the country of Australia (Arthur et al., 2018). This means that about 800000 people among 25 million of the population in the country belongs to these categories. Moreover, the First-Nation people of the country are younger than that the non-indigenous people of the country. The country of Australia has an enriched record of the past in terms of the prevalence of the indigenous people in their society. The Aboriginal people has been surviving in the country for a period of ten thousand years and even more than hundred generation of them has developed in the country since that point of time. Both the Aboriginals as well as the Torres Islanders group of people has been able to manage powerful cultural heritage, languages and their customary land as well as their perspective of the world along with its spiritual view that is determined to be very special to their community. Furthermore, the Indigenous as well as the Torres Islanders are known to be a comparable group of people existing in the society. They are known to exist in varied groups in about hundred of countries. Torres Islands are further known to be the First Nation people of the country of Australia who have hailed from the Torres Strait Island, which is located in between the Cape York, which is in Queensland and Papua, which is in New Guinea.

The main purpose of this essay is to determine the key problems faced by the Aboriginal and Torres Islanders people living in the present-day society. In this regard, the issues faced by the social workers in the course of working with the First Nation people in the country of Australia. Moreover, the essay will give due amount of consideration to the significance of the AASW Code of Ethics. Furthermore, the use of such codes of conduct to work adequately with the Aboriginal and Torres Islanders group of people would also be discussed and explained in the context of this essay.

The thesis statement here is it, “ whether the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Group are experiencing problems in the present time and if the social care workers are facing issues in working with these community or not?”

Key Issues Faced by the Aboriginal and Torres Islanders Group of People- Challenges of the Social Worker

The Indigenous and the Torres Islanders Group of people in the country of Australia experiences several problems relating to their accommodation, job as well as in terms of their education. However, there are also numerous risks associated condition that creates a deep impact on the social and mental wellness of these people (Temple et al., 2018). Moreover, such kind of risk factors leads to an increasing rate of depression in the context of the Aboriginal and Torres Islander group of people in the country of Australia.

The economy of the country of Australia has been developing since the last 25 years and it is known to be the most delighted country in the world. However, there is one group in the country that is not reaping the benefit of such happiness. It is the Indigenous people living in Australia who is prone to harm themselves severely, because of being isolated from such kind of happiness. The number of these indigenous people seems to be astounding in the country of Australia, moreover, about a third of the total Aboriginal and Torres Islander population in the concerned country are prone to major or very critical cognitive health issues (Macniven et al., 2017). Furthermore, it has been determined from the current government declaration that the indigenous men of the country in between 25 to 29 years of age is known to have committed the greatest number of suicides in the country. In this context, it has been determined, that there were 90.8% of suicide cases reported among the 100000 dwellers in the country. The concerned problem is determined to be growing with time and it has been determined that in the last ten years that there was 56% increase in the rate of hospitalization in the country as result of the act of suicide that had been committed by them (Macniven et al., 2017).

In this context, it has been determined that the increasing rate of suicide cases among the indigenous people of the country is a major indication of a very critical cognitive issue that they had been experiencing. Moreover, this is known to be a blunt issue that is being experienced by the indigenous people who occupies 3% of the total population of the country (Bennett, 2015). The key reasons for such psychological health issue among these indigenous people could be that they have less likely to have even completed their high-school, they are also known to be living with the greatest rate of alcohol or other adulterate consumptions and even they are highly prone to violence at their homes. Furthermore, it has also been determined that their span of living is about 10 years lesser than that of no aboriginal people living in the country of Australia (Bennett, 2015) .

Additionally, till the year 1970, the children belonging to the indigenous community were forced to leave their homes and embrace themselves in accordance to the culture prevailing in the country of Australia. Moreover, in the current span of time, these Aboriginal as well as the Torres Strait Islander’s community are still not permitted to survive in their own lands, hence they have a tough time while making an attempt to adapt themselves to the varied culture background, languages of multiple countries as well as communities (Arthur, 2018). Due to such kind of a treatment given to them, these indigenous people feel that they are loosing their identification with the passage of time and this is known to be core issue that is being faced by the indigenous people living in the country of Australia.

In this context, even the children of the indigenous communities of Australia, grows with only a slight ray of hope that they will land up with a decent job in the near future. This is because, they are actually observing their adults, who are growing up on charity and support from the non-aboriginal people of the concerned country. Moreover, the indigenous people have a feeling that the government of their country is not actually asking them about their requirements rather they are just providing them with those things, which the government finds its necessary for the survival of the indigenous community of Australia (Arthur, 2018).

Another major issue that can be experienced by the indigenous community of Australia lies in the way they are actually viewed in the society. The core issue determined here is that the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Islander’s community in Australia is on themselves is seen as a problem for the country. Moreover, the cultures as well as the customs that has been embraced by the concerned indigenous community is not given any significance by the non-indigenous people of the country, also including the government of the country (Arthur, 2018).

A social worker is mostly associated with the concept of human right worker and they are associated with the task of making people realize in terms of their daily rights. Moreover, they assist the different communities prevailing in the country to be able to make the full advantages of the various rights that is applicable on them in an integrated manner (Langham et al., 2017). These Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community are known to be the customers of these human right workers. The job of a social worker revolves around the concept of the AASW’s Code of Ethics. It deals with the journey as well as the management of wellness among the people of the indigenous communities. Their main objective is to optimize the growth of the capacity of the human beings and also to satisfy the various needs and requirements of the individuals belonging to a particular community (Langham et al., 2017).

The two significant norms and principles of the Code of Ethics consists of the importance, respect as well as the process of offering fairness to the people living in the society(Langham et al., 2017). In this context human respect means that these human right workers have respect and significance for the feelings of every individual living in the society. Moreover, the concept of social fairness is related to the satisfaction of the primary needs of individuals, allowing a particular community the right to use all the essential services, advantages to individuals to attain their total capacity, giving a sense of identification to these people and also giving appropriate rights to their community. The concept of human rights are often divided into three types, wherein the first level comprises of the public and the politics-based authorities, while the second level comprises of the social, economic and culture-oriented authority of an individual and the third level comprises of the integrated authority, wherein an individual should be given the freedom to develop themselves and feel confident (Taylor, 2018). However, in the context of the social work, the first level comprises of the ability of a human right worker to support either on the part of an individual or the underprivileged section of the society. Such kind of human right worker engages in the activities like the formation of the support groups to offer security to the general public as well as to protect the politics-oriented rights of an individual.

Additionally, in the context of the Aboriginal community, the support groups that is responsible for paving way to the Royal Commission in terms of the death of the Indigenous community in captivity. Moreover, it even looks into the matter of national investigation that was executed with respect to the disconnection of the children belonging to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community from their families. When talking about the second level authorities it is considered to be the simplest task for any social practice worker (Price et al., 2019). This consists of paving way for those activities, like the authority to get education, wellness facilities, accommodation and revenue among many other of such provisions. It is this regard only that these social care workers lead their customers to the Centrelink, wherein their respected clients are assisted to get help in terms of making an earning, moreover, these social workers even establish a connection with the Housing Department to get help in relation to finding their clients with housing facilities. Furthermore, the social care workers also assist their clients by recommending them to health service community wherein the client can find proper assistance with regards to their mental, physical and cognitive health conditions (Price et al., 2019).

 From the above analysis it has been determined that in order to meet the second level responsibilities of the social care workers it is important that the required provisions of providing housing, job and medical facilities actually exists, only then it can satisfy by the social care workers. In this context, the society workers play a major role in terms of determining the requirements of these essential provisions and thus they contribute towards finding out the total number of people living in Australia, who doesn’t have any access to their most basic rights. Such duties and responsibilities of the social care workers can be achieved both within the limit of the administrative procedures as well as beyond these administrative procedures.

A good demonstration of such a social work practice is the execution of the “Close the Gap” project by the social workers for the purpose of resolving the issues in relation to the health-related fairness of the indigenous community of Australia (Stanford et al., 2019). Moreover, in accordance to the Social Justice Report in the year 2005, it has been determined that the Aboriginal community should be provided with authority in terms of providing them with proper health-care facilities (Stanford et al., 2019). This indicates that the Aboriginal community has the right to demand for an appropriate level of health care facilities to ensure their wellbeing. Furthermore, it has also been determined that there is a 17 years contemplation difference in the life span of the Aboriginal community and that of the indigenous community. Hence, it is clear that rights of Indigenous community of Australia is not being met in an adequate manner. The development of community plays a unique role in terms of working with the First Nation people of Australia and this is because of the reason that these groups of people are having a tough time with vast number of issues as well as the drawbacks they have been experiencing.

Moreover, the problems faced by the social care workers are so big that it is difficult to handle them at an individual level, hence an integrated effort plays a significant role in this context (Stanford et al., 2019). This can be very well explained with the example of an Aboriginal kid, wherein the child is located at a very interior region in the NT ( Northern Territory) of Australia. In this example the child comes in the notice of a social care worker who manages the safety and security of children in the country of Australia. Moreover, there were multiple notification on the negligence that the depicted child has gone through, however, it seemed that the child did not get adequate amount of food to eat, he might have been suffering from poor health condition or he might not even be given a chance to attend his classes properly (Stanford et al., 2019).

It has also been determined that the child’s parents were a major alcohol consumer and their standard of living was also determined to be very much low. In this context, it is the duty of that particular social worker to decide the steps he is required to execute to help the poor child. Generally, the first thing which should be executed is to offer basic safety for the goodness of that particular child. Moreover, this is known to be the primary authority of a human being that has been determined as per the Convention on the Rights of the Child, wherein the country of Australia plays a role of an endorser. From this example, it is very much clear that the social worker in this context was not only handling the situation of that particular child or of his parents but he was actually managing the problems of the society as a whole (Stanford et al., 2019).

Furthermore, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s oriented work social practice is completely dependent on the amount of knowledge and understanding these social workers have in terms of the living, needs and requirements of the Indigenous community of people in the country of Australia. By generating a perception of the living, doing and understanding about the indigenous community the concentration of the social workers moves from the fundamental way of understanding to a majorly West oriented techniques of understanding the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of people across the country of Australia. As per the AASW Codes of Ethics it has been determined that there are instances when it is probable to provide the social care workers with enough assistance in terms of the development of the provisions as well as context of delivering a goal in terms of the other members of the community and also the known elderly population from the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Islander members of the community (Smith, 2019). For instance, these social care workers are not confident about the way in which they are going to deal with the indigenous people of the country and when they should be stepping in to provide them with assistance.

There are certain significant conditions which the social workers are required to consider while working in a perceptive as well as in a comprehensive manner with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in the country of Australia. These conditions consist of the attributes to have a proper knowledge, regards and value for the concerned community(Smith, 2019) . Moreover, the social workers should concentrate towards creating a significant connection with the indigenous community, listen to them with respect and also towards gaining the trust of the concerned community. Furthermore, there is a huge variety in the types of culture as well as languages embraced by the Indigenous community and hence, it is very difficult for the social workers to have a proper understanding about the same (Patil et al., 2018). There is one aspect that is constant between the several prevailing cultures is its powerful connection with the land as well as the level of dedication of the indigenous people with their families and also with their community as a whole. The community building approach and the strengths- based approach are known to be a significant technique to work in collaboration with the families belong to the First Nation Community as a whole.

Thus, in order to work in a responsive manner with the Indigenous community of Australia it is significant for the social care workers to be conscious about certain specific principles and paving their way to the community of the Indigenous community of Australia. The most significant aspect of offering a culture-oriented and a reactive service to the indigenous community is to gain a proper idea about the significance of whiteness and white benefit in terms of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the country of Australia. Furthermore, in this context the theory of whiteness plays a significant role and this includes the acceptance of the influences of the process of immigration on the practical perspectives embraced by those social care workers who doesn’t belong to the indigenous community (Bowles et al., 2018). The social work practices in the country of Australia is mostly attributed to the white professionals of the country. Hence, the whiteness model plays a significant role for the social care workers as it assists them to absorb themselves in Australia in the direction of developing their practices among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of Australia.

As per the theory, the term whiteness is described as an unseen protocol on the basis of which the other classes of people are evaluated in terms of the development of their identity, personality, individuality, public-spirit as well as regulations for them. Hence, in order to provoke as well as eliminate the concept of an unseen benefit in the society, it is recommended that the social care workers should begin to create an identification of their own class, moreover they should visualize themselves as a lineage and even consider themselves as a part of the social lineage community. They should not regard themselves as an unseen protocol on the basis of which the other cultural groups would be compared (McDonald et al., 2015). Furthermore, it has also been suggested that if the social workers go ahead with such kind of practices, they will start engaging themselves in non-settlement activities. In this way they can provoke the position of their own understanding in relation to their profession. In this way they will also be able to reactive to different information in relation to the indigenous community of the people. This will continue to assist them in the long run of their culture- oriented profession. Moreover, it has also been recommended that the indigenous as well as the race-oriented self-conscious is very much indispensable for each and every social care worker, also the type of race or community to which they belong should not create an impact on the belief. This might even include the act of accommodating their indigenous nature in the extensive white community in the country of Australia.

In the context of the Indigenous community of Australia the Systems Theory can also be applied, which implies that the attitude of an individual can be affected by various different conditions that functions in an integrated manner in the form of a structure (McAuliffe et al., 2017). As per this theory, it is the friends, family and the atmosphere within which an individual is living that creates an impact on the behavior that is being executed by that particular person. Thus, when talking about the indigenous people it is important for the social care workers to understand the surroundings in which those individuals are living and only then they will be able to understand who they are and most importantly their needs and requirements. According, to the social theory, it is significant for a social care worker to carefully look and explore the various different components that results in the behavior that a particular individual is depicting (McAuliffe et al., 2017).

Hence, in this regards, the social care workers should consider about the wellness of the indigenous community of Australia and also function towards improving the capacity of those structures that is already existing in the society. The social care workers can serve the purpose by means of providing the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Islander community with favorable theories to follow along with proper therapies and other provisions that will assist the concerned communities with various different types of support system. The AASW provides a powerful support in terms of providing assistance for the significance of the culturally-reactive as well as comprehensive practices for the social care workers in the country of Australia. As per the ASWEAS ( Australian Social Work Education and the Accreditation Standards it is important for all the AASW oriented secondary social practice modules in Australia should consists of engagement activities considering the indigenous community of the community as a key element for the concerned syllabus (Bennett et al., 2019).

As per the AASW Codes of Ethics ( 2010) considers the practice of working with the First Nation people of Australia as matter of key dedication and objective of the social care practice in the country. Moreover, it even describes the accountabilities of the social care workers and to give due amount of significance to the exclusive culture-based understanding system. Furthermore, it even outlines the living experience as well as the past records of the people belonging to the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Islander community along with the acceptance of the importance of culture in their way of functioning. Additionally, they are also required to identify the way in which their cultural attributes will create an influence in the way in which they are working.

The AASW Codes of Ethics (2013) has clearly described the minimal protocols that is required to be followed by the social care workers in the country of Australia. In this context, it is mentioned that the social care workers should have sufficient level of knowledge and understanding of the various types of cultures prevailing in the society, which is considered very much essential to perform in a culture-oriented as well as exclusive manner.

Conclusion on Food Insecurity Among Older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Through this essay, it has been very clearly depicted about the current level of engagement of the social care workers in terms of a culture oriented as well as comprehensive practices in the country of Australia. In the due course of this essay the importance of the AASW has been highlighted and it also succeeded in terms of developing a system of constant learning and development with regards to the First Nation people living in the country of Australia. In this essay, due significance has been given to the culture heritage as well as the past record of the Indigenous community living in the country of Australia and it has been very related to social work practices that is being executed in the country of Australia.

Furthermore, it has been determined it is important for the social care workers to understand the importance of racism among themselves as well as the significance of self-identification. In this way they will be certain of the way in which they should deal with the Indigenous community of Australia. Additionally, in this essay both the System Theory as well as the Whiteness Theory has been used to help the social care workers to help the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Islander community to overcome their challenges they are experiencing, which is leading to cognitive distress withing their community. So, it is very significant for the social care workers to have proper knowledge about the existence of the Indigenous community along with their real requirements in life. It has also been depicted through this essay, that government doesn’t make an attempt to understand the needs and requirements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, instead they just provide them with those products and services, which the government believes it to be essential for the community and it is in this context only in which the Indigenous community experiences problems. Hence, the thesis statement can be restated that, “ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are experiencing problems in the recent times and even the social workers finding it difficult to work with them.”

References for Food Insecurity Among Older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Langham, E., McCalman, J., Matthews, V., Bainbridge, R. G., Nattabi, B., Kinchin, I., & Bailie, R. (2017). Social and emotional wellbeing screening for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders within primary health care: a series of missed opportunities?. Frontiers in Public Health, 5, 159. Retrieved from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00159/full

Arthur, B. W., & Sanders, W. (2018). A Torres Strait Islanders commission? possibilities and issues. Canberra, ACT: Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR), The Australian National University. Retrieved from https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/145562

Arthur, B. W. (2018). Access to government programs and services for mainland Torres Strait Islanders. Canberra, ACT: Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR), The Australian National University. Retrieved from https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/145581

Bennett, B. (2015). “Stop deploying your white privilege on me!” Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement with the Australian Association of Social Workers. Australian Social Work, 68(1), 19-31. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0312407X.2013.840325

Macniven, R., Elwell, M., Ride, K., Bauman, A., & Richards, J. (2017). A snapshot of physical activity programs targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 28(3), 185-206. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1071/HE16036

Taylor, J. (2018). Industry segregation among employed Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. Canberra, ACT: Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR), The Australian National University. Retrieved from https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/145453

Temple, J. B., & Russell, J. (2018). Food insecurity among older Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(8), 1766. Retrieved from https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/15/8/1766

Stanford, J., Charlton, K., McMahon, A. T., & Winch, S. (2019). Better cardiac care: health professional’s perspectives of the barriers and enablers of health communication and education with patients of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. BMC health services research, 19(1), 106. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12913-019-3917-4

Price, K., & Rogers, J. (Eds.). (2019). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=sdGoDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR13&dq=Torres+Strait+Islanders+and+aboriginals+australia+current+issues&ots=jwPR3uKWeF&sig=ZmkqWEL_OIXayiT1zAdkt7AfGTg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Torres%20Strait%20Islanders%20and%20aboriginals%20australia%20current%20issues&f=false

Smith, D. E. (2018). CDEP as urban enterprise: the case of Yarnteen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Corporation, Newcastle. Retrieved from https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/145544

Patil, T., & Ennis, G. M. (2018). Critically reflecting on the Australian Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics: Learning from a social work field placement. British Journal of Social Work, 48(5), 1370-1387. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/bjsw/article-abstract/48/5/1370/4628142

Bowles, W., Boetto, H., Jones, P., & McKinnon, J. (2018). Is social work really greening? Exploring the place of sustainability and environment in social work codes of ethics. International Social Work, 61(4), 503-517. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0020872816651695

McDonald, D., Boddy, J., O'Callaghan, K., & Chester, P. (2015). Ethical professional writing in social work and human services. Ethics and Social Welfare, 9(4), 359-374. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17496535.2015.1009481

McAuliffe, D., & Nipperess, S. (2017). e-Professionalism and the ethical use of technology in social work. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0312407X.2016.1221790

Bennett, B., & Gates, T. G. (2019). Teaching cultural humility for social workers serving LGBTQI Aboriginal communities in Australia. Social Work Education, 38(5), 604-617. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02615479.2019.1588872

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