The Colonisation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander is an indigenous community in Australia. They are the traditional owners of one of the oldest civilisations on earth. This extends back to over 65 000 years. They are about 798,400in total, representing 3.3% of the total population of people in Australia (Maddison, 2019). Also, the community exhibits a distinct culture, and this varies vaguely within each island or community. The group lived in Australia even before the British colonisation. Over many years, the community has been left behind, and the need for capacity building to improve and make their lives better.

Capacity building includes developing and strengthening instincts, goals, resources, processes, and abilities that a community needs to survive, thrive, and survive in a first-changing world. Capacity building is an essential aspect of change. It offers essential material support to a community to catch up with others in terms of development and lifestyle improvement (Southcombe et al., 2015). The various elements associated with capacity building are; transferring skills and knowledge, mobilising support and allocation of additional resources, and ensuring equality and equity in all pillars of life. For effective capacity building, various steps need to be followed. Firstly, there is a need to conduct a training need assessment (Liberato et al., 2011). This ensures that the needy community is located and a plan to help them starts. Secondly, all stakeholders are engaged in capacity development. There is a great importance of involving all the stakeholders and ensuring they work as a team in the development process. Also, assessing capacity needs and assets is a step that helps to evaluate the type of need a community requires help. Besides, formulation of capacity development response in capacity building is an important step to make. Also, implementing a capacity development response is another crucial step. It is the process of putting into action capacity building by providing the necessary resources and knowledge to the community in need to facilitate their development (Southcombe et al., 2015). Lastly, evaluating capacity building audits the actions taken to see if the goals were met. It entails assessing the projects done and their impacts on the community. Capacity-building should result in the improvement of people’s way of life.

Colonisation has had a long time impacts on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders community in Australia. Such impacts include racism, inequality, and a disruption of their culture (Maddison, 2019). These ongoing impacts have so much affected access to health for the people of this community. When working with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, I would consider and recognise their cultural privacy. The community has deep secrets, and individuals are not expected to reveal information about them (Gupta et al., 2020). Thus while working with them, I would be intelligent enough to respect their cultural practices and support them. Also, one should be able to demonstrate the efforts to build relationships. The Aboriginal community loves people who are committed to establishing excellent working relationships while also respecting their practices. It would also be great to have awareness about the community, learning the things they love and hate while also understanding their language. Also, the community has experienced challenges of racism, and it would be great to try and address the issue while also showing them support. The community has been discriminated against, something that has lasted for many years. This has been a result of colonisation. Working with this community would require excellent cooperation, and one would be expected to work under their terms.

Nevertheless, it would be great to have more than one opinion from people in the community. People living in the same area may have a different opinion, and talking to a good number would help an individual gather enough information. Hence it would be great to work with the community after understanding their culture, characters, and traditions (Maddison 2019). Considering the community has been left behind in the access and allocation of resources, it would be great to inquire about what could be done to correct that historical injustice and make their need known. Moreover, one should establish a relationship before business. Establishing a relationship is an excellent attribute to creating a long-lasting connection between an individual and the community. It offers a chance to win their trust, and working becomes easier after that. One should be able to improve the social, emotional, and mental wellbeing of the people. This would be through interactions and giving them emotional and social support.

Health is an essential part of people, and the community needs to access better healthcare services to develop. Although Australia is a developed country, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been experiencing many challenges in accessing better health care services. In 2017 alone, diseases such as coronary heart disease, lung cancers, chronic, diabetes, and suicide, were the top causes of deaths among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community (Gupta et al., 2020). The colonisation of the Aboriginal community disrupted their society and economy. There have been epidemic diseases that caused immediate loss of lives, and the occupation of their land disrupted their ability to support themselves. Inequality, racism, and loss of identity have resulted in discrimination in access to health care services.

The Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme is a community development that funds high-quality health care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. It helps people to access health care while also improving the health of the people. This health program is meant to bridge the gap in the access of health care services between the indigenous and the non-endogenous communities in Australia. This development has helped thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to access affordable care services. It is one of the programs established by the government to help fight inequality in Australia (Gupta et al., 2020). The government is also offering employment opportunities for the indigenous people to ensure that they are economically empowered, thus can afford quality health care services. Also, the program is meant to educate health care providers about indigenous health care plans. These plans include enrolling more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Medicare, thus ensuring these people can access more benefits. The health care sector in Australia has empowered the community by creating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers who play a significant role in the primary health workforce. These people provide urgent and clinical health care for families, individuals, and community groups. Nevertheless, the Indigenous Australian Health Programme provides mental health care services (Gupta et al., 2020). The community records the most people who commit suicide. The program provides mental health care programs that include giving therapy sessions to support the people.

In conclusion, the indigenous people in Australia continue to suffer from inequality, racism, and discrimination. The government is not doing enough to ensure such acts of historical injustices end. Besides, the impacts of colonisation have had a lot of adverse effects on the indigenous people. It destabilised their culture and their robust political system. As a result, they lost their cultural heritage thus have become weaker and weaker over time. The government should work with all the stakeholders to ensure the community is not left behind in developments. Also, they should be given equal access to human and natural resources.

Share this Post