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Community Service Essay: Impact of Colonialization on Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders


Task: Community Service Essay Instructions:
Colonialization has deeply impacted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. For this assessment, you are required to discuss:
• What is Capacity building?
• Taking into account the ongoing impacts of colonialization, what do you need to consider when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
• Chose one these areas listed below and research one example of Community Development in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and discuss how this project is relevant and supportive to the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community:
- Health
- Education or
- Employment


The present community service essay sheds light on the effects of colonization that have spread through every vein of each community existing worldwide, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Communities are not out of that list here. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Communities are distributed in the coastal areas of mainland Queensland, specifically at Injinoo, Umagico, New Mapoon, Seisia, and Bamaga. The community of these people is very compact, and their cultural practices are only limited in their community. Through time, with the colonization growing more in the picture, these closed communities have witnessed the worst of their fates. In such situations, capacity building and then community development is necessary for these groups. In this essay, the author will chalk out all concepts of the capacity building regarding the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Communities when also ruling out the impacts of colonization and how to deal with the ever-rising problems caused by it. A brief example in respect to healthcare development when it comes to increasing the community standards will also be discussed.

What is Capacity Building

Capacity Building defines the process of building the base of a non-profit system with the aspects of finance, operation, maturity, and growth of an organization or system, planning to shape the future with better opportunities and effective outcomes continuously evolving through the variable social settings. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Communities consist of Australian indigenous people who belong to two different cultural groups. Organizations like Fred Hollows Foundation of human rights and advocacy developed a capacity-building program back in 2013 to establish the community standards for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities' cultural deviation. Non-profit organizations play a great role when the growth of rather underdeveloped communities is in question, and capacity building is necessitated here (Ewen et al., 2019). The community standards in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Communities are important to mold through the variables for the sake of overall development. The intercultural differences play a great role here, and it is essential to determine the fields which seek the change with more urgency. The capacity building must consider all these changes while administering these needs as the colonization has deeply impacted the nations, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Communities of Australia (Ewen et al., 2019).

Impact of Colonization in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Communities
Australia is considered the origin of the oldest living cultures across the world. The intensity of diverse cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Straits are still the pride of the nation. Since the colonization that happened by the European settlers, the community has experienced uttermost hardship, extreme loss of their traditional culture and homelands. They were forced to be removed and also deprived of citizenship rights. Until 1967, they were not subjected to vote and were not counted in the census. After being lost from their homelands, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have started living with the pre-colonial indigenous people and are involved in advanced trade with countries like Indonesia, Papua New Guinea (Gupta et al., 2020). They get acquainted with quarry materials such as pearls, shells, artifacts, flint, ochre, and so on. Colonization impacted the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders extremely as it disrupted their social and economic structure comprehensively. Health inequalities are mainly created as a direct impact of colonization because of generational trauma. Besides this, the devastating impacts of colonization prevail on the communities as well as cultures. The aboriginal people became a subject of exploitation, suffering from a range of injustices, deracinated from their traditional homelands, mass killing, relocation made the condition outrageous. Cultural practices were contradicted, and the practices of reserves started in the name of 'protection.' The government had restricted them from getting opportunities for many necessary services such as Health, education. They were not provided with the same rights as others and were denied permission from certain places. The removal of children happens from the inception of British colonization in Australia (Gupta et al., 2020). The government policies tend to remove children from their parents, infringing their human rights. The emotional, physical, and spiritual wounds that the aboriginal people had received during colonization continued to be inflicted on their health status. The violence and cruelty that passed over many years before still the intergenerational trauma existed and is experienced today.

When working with the aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders, certain aspects need to be considered, such as understanding their culture and community, the purpose of engagement, identifying groups, and organizations. It is needed to develop trust and an understanding of the local community, for this information obtained from multiple sources to build trust over time. The process progresses by creating a list of what is already known to the team and then communicating with the aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community representatives, peoples from different organizations, and land councils to obtain historical data and information about the population. While working on them, it must be clarified to aboriginal stakeholders in what perspectives the work is going on. It was needed to keep in mind their perception of the team and the work precisely (Stephens &Monro, 2019). To run the working process smoothly, identifying people, groups, and local organizations is significant. They are identifying individuals or resources to engage for successful outcomes. Identify potential people who can assist the team in work by inspecting the local communities—gathering information about the opportunities and strategic partnerships—and these considerations, ensuring the proper sequencing of the engagement of resources and workforce.

Community Development
Colonization has come out as a vivid factor, which has been mostly negatively effective in global communities (Salmon et al., 2018). The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Communities are one of the most suffered groups of individuals going through the excruciating effects of the colonization. For their rights and development through these hardships, many non-profit organizations have put effort through time. One of the factors that have always been problematic for these people is their Health. Community development regarding healthcare needs has seen many changes, efforts, and planning’s through time, and it is an ever-growing aspect as well. Many organizations have campaigned to raise awareness about diseases and treatments to develop the Health of many individuals of the said community. For example, a healthy food awareness program by the Aboriginal Health Medical Research Council of New South Wales was held in 2009. It was a one-day per week session where medical help and recommendations were given to the Aboriginal Communities (Salmon et al., 2018). The Aboriginal Health Medical Research Council also provided the people with diet charts, exercise methods and also talked about how smoking affects the Health where it is prone to heart and respiratory diseases (Christidis et al., 2021). The clinical expertise of these medical organizations involved in this project has effectively increased the standards of their Health. Health is always a big concern, and it needs to be taken care of. The colonization has put these small communities in a grievous situation, and through time, if the efforts from the non-profit communities are not increased, the existence of these people will come to a more questionable position (Christidis et al., 2021). A community is only capable of growing when all the respective aspects are taken care of with genuine efforts and exigency. In the present conditions, the Health of each individual is degrading due to environmental threats, and thus, efforts following the example here are very crucial.

This essay is a consolidated study about the colonization impact on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. From the upper sections of this paper, it can be concluded that the upper sections of this study successfully reflected the comprehensive impact of colonization, including describing its various social, cultural, and economic aspects. The paper discussed the building capacity concept and highlighted how non-profit organizations help the aboriginal people in building their capacity for their overall development. It will help to build strategies and skills when working with the aboriginal peoples. The study precisely stated how the healthcare system incorporates community development eliciting instances.

Christidis, R., Lock, M., Walker, T., Egan, M., & Browne, J. (2021). Concerns and priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples regarding food and nutrition: a systematic review of qualitative evidence. International journal for equity in health, 20(1), 1-19.

Ewen, S. C., Ryan, T., &Platania-Phung, C. (2019). Capacity building of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researcher workforce: a narrative review. Human Resources for Health, 17(1), 1-15.

Gupta, H., Tari-Keresztes, N., Stephens, D., Smith, J. A., Sultan, E., & Lloyd, S. (2020). A scoping review about social and emotional wellbeing programs and services targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in Australia: understanding the principles guiding promising practice.Community service essayBMC Public Health, 20(1), 1-20.

Salmon, M., Doery, K., Dance, P., Chapman, J., Gilbert, R., Williams, R., & Lovett, R. (2018). Defining the indefinable: Descriptors of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ cultures and their links to health and wellbeing. 10.25911/5bdbcdf5c89a7

Stephens, A., &Monro, D. (2019). Training for life and healing: the systemic empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women through vocational education and training. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 48(2), 179-192.


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