Aboriginal Wellbeing

There are many statistics that highlight the poor health and wellbeing of indigenous Australians. Despite the statistics there are many Aboriginal people who say that they are satisfied with their life.

Recent research from the Australian National University Centre of Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (2011), suggests that Aboriginal people are more likely to report positive wellbeing if they:

  • Live in remote areas
  • Have higher level of education
  • Are employed
  • Are younger or older
  • Live with someone else
  • Engage and maintain language and cultural practices

One of the reasons for this paradox is that Aboriginal Australians have different measures for wellbeing. Aboriginal wellbeing recognises the individual as well as the social, cultural, economic and natural environments.  For example, Aboriginal Australians view culture, heritage and connection to land; as well as family, kinships and community as important dimensions of wellbeing.

In Aboriginal wellbeing the whole community is paramount and essential for the health and wellbeing of the individuals that make up community.

Following are aspects of life that contribute to Aboriginal wellbeing

  • Support and nurture through family and community
  • Managing Illness or disability
  • Satisfying and rewarding work both paid and unpaid
  • Making good choices in what we put into our bodies
  • Shelter, security and privacy where I live
  • Concern for family members
  • Personal safety and laws
  • Cultural pride, practice and celebration
  • Training availability
  • Recreation (eg elders gatherings, alcohol free events, youth activities)
  • Talking with others

One of the aims of this website is to share information and resources to enhance wellbeing. Find out more about our Growing Strong Staying Strong Program.

Dr Melissa Feeney (2009), “Reclaiming the Spirit of Well Being: Promising healing practices for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people”, Discussion Paper, The Stolen Generations Alliance & Centre for Applied Psychology, Canberra University

Garvey D (2008), “A review of the social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous Australian peoples – considerations, challenges and opportunities”. Retrieved 28th April 2011 from http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/sewb_review

Dr Nicholas Biddle (2011) Measures of Indigenous wellbeing and their determinants across the lifecourse. Retrieved 28th April 2011 from http://caepr.anu.edu.au/population/lectures2011.php