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Racism, Discrimination and Health Services to Aboriginal People in South West Queensland

  • Year: 2010
  • Author: Ward, Raelene; Gorman, Don
  • Journal Name: Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal
  • Journal Number: Vol. 34, No. 6
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: Queensland

Social justice from an Aboriginal perspective is about treating everyone affordably with the same rights, access and opportunities, showing respect and embracing all cultures within the community. It is essential that services and organisations create an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and practices to be acknowledged and embedded into planning and delivery of effective and efficient services. This would enable a more client-friendly and culturally appropriate service that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people could access. Research indicates that Aboriginal people who have access to services that are culturally sensitive, close to where they live, staffed by Aboriginal health professionals, non-racist, where people are acknowledged as true owners of their land and culture, and where beliefs and traditions are respected and accepted would have healthier communities. In light of the above, research was undertaken to explore and identify the different types of health and counselling services in a rural and remote community in south west Queensland. The methodology used for this research integrated both a quantitative and qualitative approach, researching the services that existed through focus groups. There were a total of twenty-seven (27) participants recruited for the research. From the data collected and analysed, the themes identified were: racism and discrimination, beliefs, attitudes and misconceptions, leadership, and culture. For the purpose of this paper, racism and discrimination will be discussed in relation to health service provision.

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