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Nursing Essay: Health & Cultural Diversity of Aboriginal& Torres Strait Islander People


Task: Prepare a detailed nursing essay critically examining and discussing what is culture and identity and reflect on how your own identity, along with social and cultural factors, has influenced your own beliefs about and interactions with Aboriginal People and/or Torres Strait Islander People.


According to an estimation of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues considered herein nursing essay, approximately 370 million people belonging to indigenous communities are residing in over 70 countries throughout the globe (DUCROS& MINISTER, 2015). Each of these indigenous communities practices their unique culture, tradition, retains social context, sustains economic and political standards that are known to distinguish them from the dominant society among which they sustain their living (DUCROS& MINISTER, 2015). Consequently, these factors do play a significant role in developing a major difference in culture, belief, and practices among the indigenous and other populations. The assessmentfocusing on these differences will assess and evaluate the gap that takes place among the indigenous and other populations that leads to inequality, deprived health as well as cultural diversity.

Inequality and discrimination based on culture and identity: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with poor health status.

The government of Australia has been witnessing a major challenge of improvisingandovercoming the healthdisparities and conditions of the Aboriginal peoples for a very long period. Though, since 1970, a noticeable progress in reducing the rate of infant mortality has been identified among these communities, yet the progress is known to be slow and inconsistent when focused on the entire health status of the Aboriginal people. These Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have their unique language, beliefs, knowledge system as well as possess priceless traditional aspects in order to sustain and manage natural resources and use their traditional water, land, or territories (Yashadhana et al., 2021). The major inequality and cultural gap between the non-indigenous and the Aboriginal people are enormous and have not shown any improvement (Gwynne, Jeffries& Lincoln, 2018). Generally, culture is defined as the values, norms, and beliefs shared by a certain cultural group or community. It is known to influence the way the community people live, learns, and behave (Steinmetz, 2018). Identity explains the values an individual holds which is expressed in the choices they made in their lives. Identity, along with social and cultural factors influences beliefs and values as it guides and surpasses an individual's decisions that are made in their lives making them sustain different values from others.

Hence, the culture and identity the people possess have a major role in their lives and beliefs as they are known by the culture they follow as well as the ethnicity they maintain. Culture and identity along with social contextplay a major role in addressing people’s lifestyles, living choices as well as health practices.It can be well explained by the choices indigenous people make in their lives relating to their health concerns. Traditional healers as well as treatment through natural and ethical methods are one of the cultural and identity aspects of these people which influence the beliefs and valuesof the Aboriginal peoples in termsof health complications (Korff, 2018). It is so because according to the culture and identity of these people, nature is one of their ways of living and sustaining life. Also, housing, food choices, occupation as well as an understanding of the outer world is all a part of the culture and identity of the Aboriginal people. These factors are known to make them different from the other non-indigenous communities.My identity is being a care provider as it is my belief to help others and save levies which are expressed through the choices I make in my personal as well as professional life. Working with different people and health care professionals has been greatly influenced by culture lens as I work with people who possess similar values and culture of saving lives. Cultural diversityhas been consequently one of the issues faced by these indigenous communities in terms of seeking better health conditions and facilities as discrimination and equality in terms of cultural diversity, race, diverse languageethnicity as well as economic standards remain high (Paradies, 2018). These factors have been causing a major issue among the health condition of these people and so they sustain a poor health status when compared to other non-indigenous populations.Working with the aboriginals, I found that poor health condition has been a major outcome of inequality and discrimination faced by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples since a long time which therefore makes them lack trust and faith over the health care services. It helped me change my belief and interaction with the indigenous people as earlier, I did not have any direct association with the issues faced by these people. Also, the lack of equal treatment, opportunities as well as income standards make them ineffective to seek better health conditions. It can be hence concluded that identity and culture has a major influence in developing one’s value, beliefs and well as condition.

Paul Keating’s speech, 1992 and personal beliefs:
“The starting point might be to recognize that the problem starts with us, the non-Aboriginal Australians. It begins, I think, with an act of recognition. Recognition that it was we who did the dispossessing.

We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life.” By -Paul Keating

The above-quoted speech of Paul Keating in the year 1992 to launch the United Nations' International Year of the World's Indigenous Peoples (1993), states that the main reasonbehind the dispossession and theft, murder, discrimination, andviolence faced by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are due to the non- Aboriginals Australians (Keating, 2001). The speechstates that the main reason behind the current state of the indigenous people is due to the fact that their lands were taken and their traditional way of living was destroyed. The discriminationand injustice against these communities tookplace which made the sustain vulnerable and deprived social, economic as well as healthstatus. Hence, the speech of Paul Keating helps me in understanding the fact that the issue lies in the behaviors and mindset of the non-indigenous people, and in order to confirm better health and stability in the lives of indigenouspeople, it is we who needs to promote changes and acceptance to cultural diversity. It has been evaluated that, in order to provide better health service, the health care professionals and nurses need to accept and promote cultural diversity among their service and guarantee equal and effective services are provided to all (Clifford et al., 2017). It is accordingly necessary being a health careprovider that Iconfirm that patients,despite their cultural diversity or ethnicity are provided with serviceaccording to their health needs. I believe in order to improve the health as well as the decorum of culture in the case of indigenous people, it is necessary to safeguard that the culture, beliefs, and traditionalpractices that represent their identity as an indigenous population are respected and maintained in the careand services they are provided with. The speechas well asthe informationrelated to the cultural diversity and inequality faced by the indigenous peoplehelpedme in understanding the role of a nurse and the need of addressing culture and identity in healthcare services. After the assessment, while working in a group present with assessment task 1 b I will focus on considering the beliefs, values, and culture of every individual and work as a team to certify the best outcomes. I will guarantee cooperating and respecting all group members' work and work equally to seek success.

In order to conclude the assessment, it can be addressed that, while working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people one must focus on involving cultural diversity as well as relating health conditions of these indigenous populations. As a health care provider, it is necessary for a nurse to focus on the culture, religion, beliefs, and values of the care seeker in order to certify the best suitable culturally diverse service is delivered. The assessments and the speech ofPaul Keating helped me understand the significance of respecting and accepting every culture and identity of community despite having a huge gap between the two cultural groups. It is necessary to keep personal beliefs and values aside and focus on ensuring the needs and consideration of the person to make sure an effective yet equal health care facility is provided to these susceptible populations. ?

Clifford, A., McCalman, J., Jongen, C., & Bainbridge, R. (2017). Cultural competency training and education in the university-based professional training of health professionals: characteristics, quality, and outcomes of evaluations. Diversity and Equality in Health and Care, 14, 136-147. Retrieved from:

DUCROS, F., & MINISTER, S. A. D. (2015). United Nations permanent forum on indigenous issues. Retrieved from:

Gwynne, K., Jeffries, T., & Lincoln, M. (2018). Improving the efficacy of healthcare services for Aboriginal Australians. Australian Health Review, 43(3), 314-322.

Keating, P. (2001). Redfern Park speech [Speech at the Australian launch of the United Nations International Year for the World's Indigenous People, on International Human Rights Day, Redfern, New South Wales, 10 December (1992).]. Indigenous Law Bulletin, 5(11), 9-11. Retrieved from:

Korff, J. (2018). Traditional Aboriginal health care. Creative Spirits, 20. Retrieved from:

Paradies, Y. (2018). Racism and indigenous health. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Global Public Health.

Steinmetz, G. (2018). Introduction: Culture and the state. In State/culture (pp. 1-50). Cornell University Press. Yashadhana, A., Fields, T., Burnett, A., &Zwi, A. B. (2021). Re-examining the gap: A critical realist analysis of eye health inequity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Social Science & Medicine, 114230.


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