Imagine this; you are asleep when you hear the thundering of police horses and banging at your door. Your mother hesitantly opens the door and speaks to men who you’ve never seen before, and then they enter the room. The men ask your mother to pick up your sister and hand her over to them. Your mother refuses and starts to cry. A man in a suit comes over to you, grabs you and forces you into a car. Leaving your mother behind sobbing hysterically. You spend your life in the care of the government. Traumatized by the abuse you suffered you turn to drugs and alcohol.
This was the story for many Indigenous Australians. Ever since the European Invasion of Australia, aboriginals have been oppressed into a society that is unlike the self-sufficient life they had thousands of years ago. Prior to the invasion the Indigenous Australian’s lived a harmonious life, fishing and hunting, trading with other tribal clans and moving through the country in accordance to the seasons. Resources were always abundant which left a great amount of leisure time allowing them to create a life filled with spiritual rituals, customs, languages and the law. The day that James Cook arrived on the shores of Australia marked the beginning of many years of struggle and hardship for the Aboriginals. Families were torn apart and the Indigenous community lost touch with their connection to family and country.
The contemporary picture for indigenous Australians is much different from the time of European settlement and although small steps have been taken in ensuring equality for all indigenous people there is still much to be done. Many aboriginal people are living in poverty, few reach high standards of education and alcohol and drug substance abuse is an extensive issue and is damaging the health of whole communities. Statistics show that aboriginal health, education, employment and social justice have improved over the last five years however things such as Infant and Child health are significantly poorer. Data collected indicates that three times the number of indigenous babies died before their first birthday, in comparison to non-indigenous. This was caused by generally poorer health of Indigenous mothers; their exposure to risk factors; and the poor state of health infrastructure in which infants were raised. Overall indigenous people suffer from more health problems, inadequate education and lower life expectancies. These are facts that need to change as we look to the future.
Program and Policies:
Awareness surrounding issues such as these has become more prominent from schools, local governments and federal politicians. People are staring to understand that Indigenous Australians have a unique culture that needs to be preserved. Programs have been created…