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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(2), 678-698; doi:10.3390/ijerph10020678
Article

Developing an Exploratory Framework Linking Australian Aboriginal Peoples’ Connection to Country and Concepts of Wellbeing

1,* , 1
, 1 and 2
1 School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia 2 Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Carlton, Victoria 3010, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 December 2012 / Revised: 17 January 2013 / Accepted: 18 January 2013 / Published: 7 February 2013
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Abstract

Aboriginal people across Australia suffer significant health inequalities compared with the non-Indigenous population. Evidence indicates that inroads can be made to reduce these inequalities by better understanding social and cultural determinants of health, applying holistic notions of health and developing less rigid definitions of wellbeing. The following article draws on qualitative research on Victorian Aboriginal peoples’ relationship to their traditional land (known as Country) and its link to wellbeing, in an attempt to tackle this. Concepts of wellbeing, Country and nature have also been reviewed to gain an understanding of this relationship. An exploratory framework has been developed to understand this phenomenon focusing on positive (e.g., ancestry and partnerships) and negative (e.g., destruction of Country and racism) factors contributing to Aboriginal peoples’ health. The outcome is an explanation of how Country is a fundamental component of Aboriginal Victorian peoples’ wellbeing and the framework articulates the forces that impact positively and negatively on this duality. This review is critical to improving not only Aboriginal peoples’ health but also the capacity of all humanity to deal with environmental issues like disconnection from nature and urbanisation.
Keywords: wellbeing; Aboriginal; health; Country; nature wellbeing; Aboriginal; health; Country; nature
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kingsley, J.; Townsend, M.; Henderson-Wilson, C.; Bolam, B. Developing an Exploratory Framework Linking Australian Aboriginal Peoples’ Connection to Country and Concepts of Wellbeing. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 678-698.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert