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The lack of inclusion of aboriginal representation at the policy making level is also regarded as an insurmountable barrier to formulating adequate health policies as regards the indigenous population of Australia. (Matthew, Pulver, & Ring 2008)
In Australia alone, a proliferation of data illustrates the extent to which our half million Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live in disadvantaged social conditions relative to other Australians. The level of disadvantage has left Indigenous Australians with a 17-year disparity in life expectancy, and a mortality rate 4.6 times higher than the overall population. (McMurray 2008: 166)
Public health policy, its creation and implementation, has various stages through which it must progress. These stages are often defined more by expediency than efficacy and can be either costly failures or valuable successes. Take for instance the policy initiative Building a Healthy, Active Australia. It begun in 2004 when an obesity taskforce run by several health ministers was at a standstill and shortly thereafter the then Prime Minister's office took the problem under wing and began to announce some initiatives that were unfocused and targeting a list of fast and junk food purveyors. These same companies were also large contributors to not only political parties but many events such as the Olympics. These initiatives were quickly repackaged and became the Building a Healthy, Active Australia policy. (Bazzano, He, and Ogden 2002)
The Building a Healthy Active Australia policy has produced several campaigns addressing health, physical activity and nutrition on many levels. These include: Get set 4 Life - Habits for Healthy Kids, the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden National Program, Healthy Spaces and Places, Community and Schools Grants Program. Healthy Active Ambassadors. Healthy Weight Information and Resources and Go for 2&5 it was designed as a social marketing strategy campaign that had run for several years and is still in the process of winding down. It targeted children, as well as parents, to help promote healthy choices in food intake. ("Go for 2&5" 2009) However, the population of the Australian aboriginal was left largely ignored by this policy. Their exclusion was largely due to the fact that they were not included in any level or aspect of this policy and others like it.
Another alternative to help with cultural adaptation is to include more branches of research other than sociology. In fact this is currently being reviewed. "In Australia, an extensive academic literature has recently returned to the theme of exploring the relationship between applied anthropology and policy formulation." (Finlayson 2001: 20) the Aboriginal population would certainly benefit from this inclusion. In fact the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition Strategy and Action Plan (NATSINSAP) was intended to play a major role in co-ordinating the implementation of the national nutrition strategy, 'Eat Well Australia: a national framework for action in public health nutrition, 2000 -- 2010.' This policy also includes an action plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and attempted to address this situation (Lawrence and Worsley 2007).
List of References
Anderson, Ian, and John Douglass Whyte. 2006. 'Australian Federalism and Aboriginal Health.' Australian Aboriginal Studies 2006:5-15
Bazzano, LA, He J., Ogden, LG. 2002. 'Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Risk of cardiovascular disease in Adults: the First national Health and Nutrition Follow-up Survey epidemiologic Follow-up Study.' American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 76.1: 93-99
Carson, Bronwyn, Terry Dunbar, Richard D. Chenhall, and Ross Bailie, eds. 2007. Social Determinants of Indigenous Health. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin.
Eckermann, Anne-Katrin. 1999. "Aboriginal Education in Rural Australia: A Case Study in Frustration and Hope." Australian Journal of Education 43:5.
Finlayson, Julie. 2001. 'Anthropology's Contribution to Public Policy Formulation: The Imagined Other?.' Australian Aboriginal Studies 2001:18-22
Germov, John and Marilyn Poole, eds. 2007. Public Sociology: An Introduction to Australian Society. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin.
'Go for 2&5' 2009. Horticulture Australia Office. Retrieved 25 October 2009 http://www.gofor2and5.com.au/)
Griffiths, Tom. 2001. "Deep Time and Australian History: Tom Griffiths Continues Our Series on History and the Environment, Travelling into the Longue Duree of the Australian Past." History Today, November, pp. 20-33
Lawrence, Mark and Tony Worsley, eds. 2007. Public Health Nutrition: From Principles to Practice. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin.
Lin, Vivian, James Smith, Sally Fawkes, Priscilla Robinson, and Susan Chaplin. 2007. Public Health Practice in Australia: The Organised Effort. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin
Matthew, a., Pulver, J. & Ring, I.T. 2008. 'Strengthening the Link Between Policy Formulation and Implementation of Indigenous Healy Policy Directions.' Australian Health Review. 32.4: 613-625
Mcdonald, Heather, Kerry Arabena, and Graham Henderson. 2006. "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Healing." Australian Aboriginal Studies 2006:1-12
McMurray, a. 2008. Culture-Specific Care for indigenous People: A Primary health care persepctive. Contemporary Nurse. 28: 165-172
O'Brien, K. And Webbie, K. 2003. 'Are All Australians Gaining Weight? Differentials in Overweight and Obesity Among Australian Adults, 1989-90 -- 2001.', AIHW, Editor. AIHW: Canberra.
Rosewarne, Clive. Boffa, John. 2004. 'An Analysis of the Primary Health Care Access Program in the Northern…[continue]
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