The Indigenous Health In Australia Essay


Discuss about the Indigenous Health in Australia.



The Indigenous Australians includes the aboriginals and the Torres Strait Islander. These are the groups of people, constitute nearly 3% of the total Australian population (Smith et al. 2016). There is wide range of people within the community of the aboriginals.

More than 70% of the aboriginal peoples live in the rural areas and thus do not get the opportunity to avail the basic health and education and thus do not have the chance of making economic development within the community (Smith et al. 2016). It is the duty of government to ensure that these indigenous groups of people are not denied of any forms of welfare programs and get proper access to all forms of health and welfare programs (Smith et al. 2016). There have been many cases in the past, where these aboriginals and indigenous groups are abused by the people and thus they are denied of seeking proper health and education care programs from the government. (Martin & Trigger 2015) The government of Australia thus passed legal rules to ensure the safety of these groups of people. The Northern Territory intervention methods and the Closing Gap Intervention are two of the major legal policies implemented by the Australian government for this purpose. The current study aims to describe the two policies and also provide the effectiveness of the policies. The difference and the similarities of the two policies are also highlighted along with limitations of the two policies.

Northern Territory Intervention Methods

The Northern Territory Intervention Methods are the set of policies that are introduced and implemented by the Howard Government in the year 2007 (Proudfoot & Habibis, 2015). These policies were implemented in the response of the protection that was demanded for the little children in the Sacred Report. The report claimed that most of the children of the indigenous groups are denied of basic health and education rights and many of them are also the victim of neglect and sexual abuse. The crime and social torture of the indigenous group of children had reached an alarming rate. (Martin & Trigger 2015)

The intervention methods that were adopted by the Australian government have been applied to 73 of the Indigenous communities that reside in the northern territory (Keenan, 2013). After the implementation of this intervention measures, the welfare funds for the indigenous groups have been increased by 50%.. (Martin & Trigger 2015)It has also banned the usage of alcohol and pornography, which was believed to be the main causes of the crime that was committed against the children. The government has also made special efforts to encourage the participation of the people in the aboriginal community to increase their participation in all types of community welfare programs.

With the introduction of the compulsory health check up programs, it is possible for the social workers to ensure high level of health among the all the aboriginal children. Nevertheless, the intervention steps are involved with various controversial issues that has raised question over the actual purpose of the implementation of this intervention steps. The clause of this act, which gives the government the power to take away the possessions and the property of the aboriginal community, has been one of the major controversies of this legal act. This act was believed to violate the basic level of human rights of the people and also ignored the importance of the local language that and knowledge of the people. (Proudfoot & Habibis, 2015)

The people, who mainly supported this act believes that the situation in the northern community had become emergency like and it is also believed to be one of the basic requirements of the intervention act.

Closing Gap Intervention

The government of Australia has implemented the Close the Gap intervention campaign in the year 2007, which has aimed to reduce the gaps in the health and education status of the aboriginal’s people. . (Gibson et al., 2015). The Council of the Australian government has ensured that all the people of the aboriginal community get the opportunity to deal with all the challenges they are facing. It is the duty of the Australian government to ensure that all the people of get equal health and education rights. . (Gibson et al., 2015). With the help this policy, it is possible to reduce the life expectancy gap within a generation. The mortality rate of the children within the 5 years can also be reduced significantly with the implementation of this policy (Ibiebele et al., 2015). It is also essential for the aboriginal children to get the access of primary and basic level of education in all remote areas. Moreover, to ensure that all the students get the proper forms of education, it is crucial that all of them are provide with the access to the schools in all remote areas of the aboriginals community. The policy also aims to lower the level of illiteracy among the aboriginal community students to half by the year 2020. The rate of employment within the community also needs to be increased and thereby it is possible for them to make economic development within the society (Renzaho & Oldroyd, 2014).

In order to ensure the rate of development do not gets hampered, the government of Australia has made an attempt to build the building block from the initial stage of life and it is the duty of the social workers to deal with all types of activities. The main aim of this policy is to ensure that all the Torres Strait Islander can enjoy all types of modern facilities that will help them make all types of economic development. (Renzaho & Oldroyd, 2014)

Similarities and difference of the two polices

Both the above mentioned government intervention policies are aimed to improve the quality of life of the indigenous groups of people or the aboriginals tribe of people. . (Bray et al., 2014) The funds for both the intervention programs are provided by the government and also made sure that they are spent properly. With the help of the government policies, the quality of life of the Torres Strait Islanders can have all types of modern facilities.

The Northern Territory Emergency Response was meant to deal with the Northern Territory Emergency Response and it was passed by the Howard government in the year 2007. . (Rix et al, 2014) On the other hand, it is due to the Closing gap intervention was meant to be improve the overall life quality for longer period of time. The former was meant for the people only in the Northern territory region. On the other hand, the closing gap intervention is meant to be one of the most important polices that is meant for all types indigenous aboriginals of the Australia. Both the polices have received acclaim criticism from people of all section of the society as many of them believes the fact that the policies are meant for the beneficial of the government rather than that of the aboriginal species. (Rix et al, 2014)

Effectiveness of the polices

With the implication of both the government policies, it is possible for the government to get the information about the life and the culture of the aboriginal people. The economic and cultural growth rate among the aboriginals has been increased significantly. The crimes that were held against the aboriginals also have been reduced significantly. It is also due to these policies that it is possible for the people of the aboriginal species that the quality of life has been able to improve. This also due to the implication of the policies that the infant mortality rate among the aboriginals has decreased and the literacy rate has been able to improve (Saunders et al., 2015).


With help of the Northern territory intervention methods along with the close gap intervention policy, it is possible to improve the quality of life among the aboriginals. The government had made polices and also allocated the funds for the program. This has helped the aboriginals to enjoy all the basic health and educational benefits.


Bray, J. R., Gray, M., Hand, K., & Katz, I. (2014). Evaluating new income management in the Northern Territory: final evaluation report. Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales.

Gibson, O., Lisy, K., Davy, C., Aromataris, E., Kite, E., Lockwood, C., ... & Brown, A. (2015). Enablers and barriers to the implementation of primary health care interventions for Indigenous people with chronic diseases: a systematic review. Implementation Science, 10(1), 71.

Ibiebele, I., Coory, M., Boyle, F. M., Humphrey, M., Vlack, S., & Flenady, V. (2015). Stillbirth rates among Indigenous and non?Indigenous women in Queensland, Australia: is the gap closing?. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 122(11), 1476-1483.

Keenan, S. (2013). Property as governance: time, space and belonging in Australia's northern territory intervention. The Modern Law Review, 76(3), 464-493.

Martin, R. J., & Trigger, D. (2015). Negotiating belonging: plants, people, and indigeneity in northern Australia. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 21(2), 276-295.

Proudfoot, F., & Habibis, D. (2015). Separate worlds: A discourse analysis of mainstream and Aboriginal populist media accounts of the Northern Territory Emergency Response in 2007. Journal of Sociology, 51(2), 170-188.

Renzaho, A. M., & Oldroyd, J. C. (2014). Closing the gap in maternal and child health: a qualitative study examining health needs of migrant mothers in Dandenong, Victoria, Australia. Maternal and child health journal, 18(6), 1391-1402.

Rix, E. F., Barclay, L., Wilson, S., & Barclay, E. R. L. (2014). Can a white nurse get it?‘Reflexive practice’and the non-Indigenous clinician/researcher working with Aboriginal people. Rural Remote Health, 14(2679).

Saunders, P. (2015). Closing the gap: the growing divide between poverty research and policy in Australia. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 50(1), 13.

Smith, S., Smail, L., & Hunt, G. (2016). TRANSVERSING THE ELEMENTS TO HEALTH: An Overview of Aboriginals Health Barriers in Northern British Columbia. QIHI Journal of Healthcare Improvement and Patient Safety, (2).

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