This groundbreaking study examines the social and political circumstances that have led to the “Fourth World” health standards of Australia's Indigenous population. Providing a systematic overview of the relationship between the social and political environment and health, leading researchers discuss the causes behind poor health outcomes and outline how such programs can be successful while reflecting on the long-term health effects that dispossession, colonial rule, and racism have had on the Indigenous people.
The opportunities and comfortable lifestyle available to most Australians have been denied to generations of Indigenous people. As a result some of Australia's original inhabitants suffer from what has been described as Fourth World' standards of health. This is out of place in a country that prides itself on egalitarianism and a fair go for all. Shifting the focus from individual behaviour, to the social and political circumstances that influence people's lives and ultimately their health, helps us to understand the origins of poor health. It can also guide action to bring about change. Social Determinants of Indigenous Health offers a systematic overview of the relationship between the social and political environment and health. Highly respected contributors from around Australia examine the long-term health impacts of the Indigenous experience of dispossession, colonial rule and racism. They also explore the role of factors such as poverty, class, community and social capital, education, employment and housing. They scrutinise the social dynamics of making policy for Indigenous Australians, and the interrelation between human rights and health.
Finally, they outline a framework for effective health interventions, which take social factors into consideration. This is a groundbreaking work, developed in consultation with Indigenous health professionals and researchers. It is essential reading for anyone working in Indigenous health.
Bronwyn Carson is a researcher at the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin. He is the author of numerous articles on Indigenous health issues. Terry Dunbar is an Iwaidjan from the Northwest Arnhem region and a senior research fellow in the faculty of Education, Health and Science at Charles Darwin University. Richard D. Chenhall is a medical anthropologist and a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) fellow at the Menzies School of Health Research. Ross Bailie is a professor of public health at the Menzies School of Health Research and an NHMRC senior research fellow.