13 x 1-hour lectures per semester
12 x 2-hour tutorials per semester
1 x 2-hour computer lab once-only
1 x 3.5-hour independent study weekly
1 x 4-hour case study weekly
Enrolment not permitted
1 of HLTH1012, MIDW3309, NURS2724, PHCA8504 has been successfully completed
Assignment(s), Case studies, Tutorial Participation
Topic description
This topic is designed to enhance Health Sciences students' understanding of Indigenous Australian health from historical and contemporary perspectives. The topic will examine the ways in which Indigenous health is currently addressed within the Australian health care system, and what is required for more-effective health practice. Students will be given the opportunity to contextualise their personal and professional understanding of health and illness within an Indigenous health context. Students will then compare, contrast and reflect on those ideas in relation to the ways that colonisation impacted, and continues to impact, on the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians leading to an understanding of the social determinants of Indigenous health. Students will critically examine the concept of cultural safety as it relates to health and the various Health Sciences professional practice. Students will be assisted in developing a critical understanding of the impacts of racism and discrimination on Indigenous health outcomes. The relevance of primary health care principles to Health Sciences practice will be examined. In addition the incorporation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, as well as holistic and traditional healthcare practices, into western Health Sciences healthcare approaches will be addressed.
Educational aims
Overall this topic aims to assist students to develop a better understanding of the diversity of Indigenous health, as well as to lay the foundations for becoming a Culturally Safe heath practitioner. This Topic will assist Health Sciences students to develop as effective, holistic practitioners, who are also advocates for best practice for the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples.
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Use appropriate language and accurately describe the diversity of the Indigenous Australian population and cultures
  2. Understand the major health issues relevant to Indigenous health status.
  3. Identify and develop an understanding of the social determinants of Indigenous health
  4. Appreciate and reflect on topic material in relation to one’s own cultural background and identify impacts on Health Sciences practice. Describe the personal, professional and structural elements of Cultural Safety and apply to Health Sciences practice
  5. Recognise and explain how the colonisation of Australia continues to impact on Indigenous health
  6. Critically analyse and reflect on how racism and discrimination impacts on Indigenous health outcomes
  7. Develop reflective communication skills for Health Sciences practice that are commensurate with the principles of Cultural Safety
  8. Understand the role of practitioners working with Indigenous Australians in a range of health care settings and communities, through examples of best practice in primary health care
  9. Become familiar with Indigenous holistic and traditional health practices and appreciate their incorporation into a western framework of Health Sciences practice
  10. Articulate the importance of family, country and sovereignty to the development of Indigenous identity and health and wellbeing
  11. Describe differences in public health infrastructure between metropolitan, rural and remote areas.