This paper is a critical reflective one that focuses on the history of Australia, its colonization, and the aftermath of the same. The history of Australia primarily revolves on ty the interactions between Aboriginal and non-aboriginal members of the society. It was essential to put a focus on this group to have a clear understanding on why Australia up to date fails to deal with its roots (Flood, 2006). The history of Australia has dramatically influenced and is continuing to do so not only to the indigenous community but also to the non-indigenous ones. For there to be a clear understanding regarding the history of aboriginal and non-aboriginal interactions, we must first understand the different cultures and changes that have taken place since the beginning. According to Colander (1984), peoples perception includes the general totality of their behavior, beliefs, values, as well as their art, language, tools, views, and symbols. It is evident that culture has a dynamic nature and is not only influenced by the people but also subject to influences from the environment (Cunneen, 2001). Understanding the perceptions and interactions of the Australian people will help give insight on the various historical activities and practices, and what impact it has both in the present and future of Australia. Aboriginal people were different compared to the non-aboriginal ones in multiple of ways. Different cultures influence how people think, communicate and carry themselves. Knowledge to this is a key to understanding various social groups, environments. In this case, Aboriginal people maintain the aspect that the cornerstones of their cultures are law, low, language, and land and this forms the basis of their identity.
Adaptation is one of the outstanding aspects of the history of Australian people. This element is based on solving problems, high creativity, and is the basis of cultural interactions. Based on this framework, the colonization of Australia involved such forces. For over more than 41,000 years, Aboriginal people adapted to their environments in Australia (Gammage, 2010). This form of adaptation proved significant as this group of people developed unique cultural, social, economic, and religious ways of life. After colonization in 1978, the non-aboriginal population invaded the country with their ways of life, i.e., different social, cultural, religious, and economic ways of life. Adaptation in the two communities had taken various forms, and as a result, they clashed. The colonization of Australia brought about a series of events, including; a clash of cultures, ethnocentrism, stereotyping, prejudices and judgments, discrimination, and culture conflicts. Also, it also led to the development of a culture shock among the people. This paper will put more emphasis on ethnocentrism and how it impacted and had continued to do so to the people of Australia. Whenever there is the culture clash, and a conflict, of the same, different groups with unequal power tend to differ in views and opinions. Subordinate status makes sure that its members lose control over the adaptation process and their new ways of life get to be determined by the oppressing group. Unfortunately, ethnocentrism may lead to a situation of xenophobia which is a state characterized by a fear of foreigners. Such a state hinders policies and programmes delivery mainly because the locals reject anything from the foreigners. For instance, a non-aboriginal health care provider could have challenges dispensing his or her services to the aboriginal communities. It has in turn affected not only health care but also other essential policies delivery.
Upon colonization, Aboriginal communities were forced to accommodate a group of people with the entirely different view of the world, social structure and the economy. The Aboriginal city, on the other hand, did not have adapted to the others way of life; it simply took over. Consequently, the burden fell upon the local members of the society who had to fit in and find a new habitat in their own country. I todays society, this niche is highly defined and determined by the non-aboriginal majority who are more powerful.
In today's society, Aboriginal communities seem to have challenges all around. These problems are attributed to the harsh economic and social environments. It is essential to address some of these issues, especially those that are a determinant of their healthy living. Aboriginal people are the initial owners of Australia and the islands too. This is a critical aspect whenever studying this group. In their culture, specific practices and customs are performed separately by men and women. These traditions and practices have strict penalties and regulations attached to them. Aboriginal communities that continue with these methods will similarly continue with this segregation, and it is vital that it is understood by all working with them. Communities and individuals link their Indigenous identity closely with the country from which it emerged. Traditional and cultural mores significantly contribute to the character of the group and defining the same.
In the present Australia, the environment, climate, locality, and resources impact their lifestyle and cultural Responses to the emerging health, economic, and social challenges. The above factors have increasingly become health determinants among the people. Also, other contemporary issues affecting the lives of the aboriginal community include; racial discrimination, poor health, access to health services, high levels of unemployment, a loss of traditional languages, a survival of cultures, and low levels of education. These factors have in one way, or another influenced the provision of health services to the indigenous community (Davison, 2001). Traditional indigenous groups are affected by a social and cultural restructure that in turn changes their healthy ways of life. Many Australians have found it hard to appreciate and embrace the integration of Aboriginal Australians, a state that can be described as a hangover from the post-colonial and colonial attitudes and views. This group continues to expect that the Aboriginal community should retain each aspect of their indigenous culture paying no attention to cultural diversity. Aboriginal people have had to cope with the massive changes brought about through the invasive occupation of foreigners. Even greater community diversity exists as Indigenous Australians live in most parts of the state.
While some of the suburbs have higher concentrations of foreigners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders homes are located in some of the suburbs. These two groups are also well represented in most professions and occupations. It is, however, important to note that majority of these people live in harsh economic and social conditions mostly due to the high levels of unemployment and lack of education. These contemporary issues, in turn, have the adverse influence on the health and general well-being of both them and their families.
The colonization of Australia conveyed about a series of events, including; a clash of cultures, ethnocentrism, typecasting, prejudices and judgments, discrimination, and culture conflicts. Also, it also led to the growth of a culture shock among the persons (Dyer, 2003). Whenever there is the culture clash, and a battle of the same, different groups with unequal power tend to differ in views and opinions. Lesser status makes sure that its members lose control over the adaptation process and their new ways of life get to be determined by the oppressing group. Inappropriately, ethnocentrism may lead to a situation of xenophobia which is a state characterized by a fear of foreigners. Such a state hinders policies and programmes delivery mainly because the locals reject anything from the foreigners. For instance, a non-aboriginal health care provider could have challenges dispensing his or her services to the aboriginal communities. It has in turn affected not only health care but also other essential policies delivery. Communities have however coped with these changes in culture.
A critical review of the aftermath of colonization of Australia gives us an insight of how it has affected the health of the indigenous community. The invasion of Europeans resulted to social vices such as racial, ethnic discrimination. According to Moses (2004), discrimination based on ones race occurs when there is a differential treatment that leads to unfair power distribution, resources, and opportunities across different groups. A good example of racial discrimination is when a person hires employees based on their ethnic background. Racism is a social vice that should be discouraged at all costs just because it brings about an unfair environment. In this case, racism took the better part of the post-colonial Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people underwent racism from the Europeans who invaded their country. In other words, they lacked access to education facilities, health care centers, and other essential social amenities. These institutions in the society were set up for the non-aboriginal communities and their families. It created a significant disparity between the people. Both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders felt that they had been deprived these opportunities in their native land. Moreover, they were affected mentally and socially due to this. Lacking access to education and health facilities propagated a sense of depression, stress, and anxiety among the people. Usually, individuals who feel less appreciated in the community end up having mental disorders and issues. It was and still is the case among the Aboriginal community in Australia. As a health professional, racism could significantly affect my effectiveness in healthcare provision. Similarly, it would hinder me from equally offering my services, especially to the communities that need it the most. Aboriginal communities have more priority when it comes to health care issues, and thus racism should not be in the picture. I believe that all people should be treated in equal and fairways regardless of their racial backgrounds (Brown, 2001).
Another essential aspect to look into is that of culture shock. Culture shock occurs when there is a series of emotional reactions to the loss of constant reinforcements from an individuals culture. Culture shock gives rise to emotions or feelings of irritability, helplessness, fear of being deceived, harmed, or disregarded. In Australia, the invasion of Europeans leads to a cultural shock among the Aboriginal community. The dominant adverse effect of culture shock is confusion among the parties involved. In this case, the Aboriginal population had challenges in communication, especially to the invaders. For instance, an Aboriginal person from a remote community who is admitted to a large tertiary hospital in the city will have challenges in understanding the procedures there and thus have a fear of getting the services being offered. Consequently, this person will experience culture shock upon seeing the equipment being used in the facility. Keep in mind that this is a person from a very remote community where such facilities are unavailable. Communication between this patient and the nurses will be challenging and thus inefficient service provision.
However, several policies and strategies have been put in place both by the state and the people themselves. With an ultimate goal of creating a fair social, economic, and culturally diverse environment, a people-centered initiative has been developed. Such an effort is essential especially in strengthening cultural ties among different populations (Eckermann, 2010).
Brown, R. (2001). Australian Indigenous ment...
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