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Introduction to Social Determinants of Health

The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are brought up, spend their life, work, grow and age. There happens to be distribution of resource and power at local, regional, and global levels. It has been found that there is a correlation between the person’s heath and his social and economic status. In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders experiences poor well-being and health outcomes which causes number of premature deaths in the community. Social determinant like Education plays a vital role in health outcome of the people which have been discussed in this essay.

Education a Barrier for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

The relationship between social determinant like education and good health relates to the opportunities a person has economically, control on life decisions and lifestyle risk factor reduction. It is always seen that educated people are aware of their well-being, living standard and health. There are various barriers for education in Aboriginal population (Korff, 2019). It includes inappropriate teaching material and role models. The lack of quality education is the cause of persistent disadvantage and marginalisation. The unavailability of proper education to this community threatens their existence.

Education is recognized as both a human right and an imperative means for realization of fundamental rights, liberty and individual freedom. It is a pathway through which economically and socially oppressed populations rise above poverty and can accommodate in their societies and different communities. Education is one of the important investments in terms financial and social development of any nation can make. Correct education permits the exercise and enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights of indigenous children and adult learners. It enhances their capacity to exercise their civil rights, so that they can influence democratic process and decision making for their improved rights and facilities. Consequently, education is a crucial means of embracing, preserving and transmitting the aboriginal cultures, languages, customs, and traditional knowledge. Education is also a tool for empowering people. Indigenous peoples under international law, are not merely as stake holders, but as rights holder (Human Rights Library, 2003). This give them right to be involved in decision making, right to growth and education and in accordance of beliefs, interests and requirements.

Dr Anita Marianne Heiss role in education and improvement of lives of aboriginal Dr Anita Marianne Heiss, born in 1968 is an aboriginal Australian author, activists and poet (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2011). She has been writing about indigenous literature from more than a decade. Dr. Heiss is an advocate for aboriginal literature and have been writing about them.

Anita suffered racism for being indigenous in her early years. She was motivated to work for aboriginals by making comics, posters and conducting workshops. She taught at various university challenging her students about their preconceived notions about aboriginals. Anita was not convinced about the academic system giving more privileges to white knowledge above black experience. Anita also ran literacy-based project which is coordinated by the department of employment, education and taring, New South Wales. In 2009 Andrew bolt (author) accused Anita for using indigenous identity for her use. She won the defamation case against him and started working for racism against aboriginals (Indigenous Australia,2018). Anita built upon her own observations to illustrate Indigenous community diversity. Anita’s work has been towards bridging the gap of difference between indigenous or Aboriginal people and non-indigenous people of the country.

Nursing Care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

The aboriginal people as compared to the non-Indigenous people, faces more health problems causing their morbidity and mortality. Indigenous people get hospitalised more because of the poor health conditions, poor care at hospitals and overall lower access to health interventions.

A patient might not be comfortable in sharing his personal and private details so as nursing staff one need to build a rapport first (Canuto, K., Wittert, G., & Harfield, S. et al., 2018). This will help the patient to build trust and further anxieties and misunderstandings will be avoided in sharing information. Also, as nursing staff one has to be non-judgmental and be approachable by the patient. The tone of voice should be proper and the body language should be non-threatening.

In the western world making eye contact is regarding as a form of respect and trust but in aboriginal population it is opposite. They take it as a sign of rudeness disrespect and aggression (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2016). So as a good nursing staff the patient body language has to be read carefully. The level of eye contact being used by the patient, follow the patients lead and adjust the body language accordingly.

Conclusion on Impact of Education on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

The aboriginal population is threatened of its existence because of lack of facility and other social determinants like education which are essential for survival and good healthcare. Although with time many renowned people like Dr Anita Marianne Heiss are working towards the upliftment of the community by fighting for them and educating them of their rights. Education reforms are sought to tackle the discrimination among these people and solve the problems of the population.

References for Impact of Education on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

Australian Broadcasting Corporation. (2011). Anita Heiss. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/profiles/content/s3245553.htm

Canuto, K., Wittert, G., & Harfield, S. (2018) “I feel more comfortable speaking to a male”: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s discourse on utilizing primary health care services. International Journal for Equity in Health 17 (185), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-018-0902-1

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. (2016). Communicating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences. Retrieved from https://www.pmc.gov.au/resource-centre/indigenous-affairs/communicating-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-audiences

Human Rights library. (2003). The Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Retrieved from http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/edumat/studyguides/indigenous.html

Indigenous Australia, (2018). Heiss, Anita (1968–?). Retrieved from http://ia.anu.edu.au/biography/heiss-anita-17794

Korff, J. (2019). Barriers to Aboriginal education. Retrieved from https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/education/barriers-to-aboriginal-education

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