First Peoples health before and after
Health status pre-colonisationPrior to colonisation, there was no processed food and Aboriginal people were generally fit and healthy. First Peoples only came into contact with the chronic diseases they continue to face today, because of the British invasion.
While the exact number of Indigenous deaths is unknown, many Indigenous men, women and children died of introduced diseases to which they had no resistance such as smallpox, influenza and measles (Australian Human Rights Commission, N.D).
Health status todayOverall, Indigenous Australians have the poorest health of all Australians. In relation to some health outcomes, they are some of the poorest in the world.Did you know….
- Young Aboriginal people are four times more likely to commit suicide than non-Indigenous Australians?
- Indigenous Australians die approximately 10 years earlier than non-Indigenous Australians?
- racial discrimination
- educational disadvantage
- high unemployment rates
- limited access to quality health care
Further reading?If you’d like to learn more about life in Australia, prior to Colonisation, download the reading available at the bottom of this step.You may also wish to investigate Bruce Pascoe’s seminal book, Dark Emu. Ask for it at your library or purchase online. The ISBN reference is: 9781921248016
ReferencesAustralian Human Rights Commission. (N.D.) Face the Facts: Questions and Answers about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Safer Healthcare for Australia's First Peoples
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