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(For the purpose of this assessment the word 'Indigenous', refers to the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people of Australia).
Undeniably Australian policy from the past has directly impacted upon the health status of Indigenous Australians today. “Discuss how the Policy of Assimilation 1961, (Copy of policy located on Blackboard) has impacted on the Physical health/ Mental health of Indigenous Australians today”. The framework for this assessment will focus on determinates of health.
Step 1 – Introduction – Please introduce and provide a background of the current health status of Indigenous Australians today. Step 1a – Compare today's health status to Indigenous people's pre-invasion health status. (200 words) – (4 marks)
Step 2 – Analyse and explain the intent of the Assimilation Policy (use examples from the Assimilation Policy located on blackboard and from your Taylor and Guerin textbook). Step 2a – Provide brief examples of how Assimilation practices have impacted on the overall physical health/ mental health of Indigenous Australians today. (200 words) – (4 marks)
Step 3 – Identify and critically discuss the links between the Assimilation Policies intent and this has negatively impacted on the health status (Physical and Mental) of Indigenous Australians today specifically related to the following determinate of health framework:
Education (300 words) – (8 marks)
Employment (300 words) – (8 marks)
Housing (300 words) – (8 marks)
Incarceration (150 words) – (4 marks)
Racism (150 words) – (4 marks)
Trauma from Assimilation policies has had a multigenerational effect on Indigenous people. If you work in Australia as a Registered Nurse/ Midwife – you will provide care for members of this population.
Step 4 – With this knowledge how can the Registered Nurse/ Midwife ensure that Indigenous people in their care are provided with culturally safe nursing care (200 words) – (4 marks)
Step 5 – Conclusion – Reflection (200 words) – (4 marks)
Between – 12 – 20 references are required – The 'Assimilation Policy' must be referenced – (2 marks)
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The evidence-based research findings indicate the adverse health outcomes among the indigenous Australians in relation to their low birth weight and prematurity leading to physical disabilities during adulthood (Hunter & Biddle, 2012, pp. 67-68). The present scenario of the aboriginal Australians reveals their remote residences and lack of appropriate healthcare facilities that result in their predisposition to develop the disease manifestations as compared to the non-indigenous individuals. Furthermore, the poor socioeconomic status of the Australian indigenous natives attributes to their subnormal psychosocial profiles and epidemiological conditions that they continue to face in the present scenario. The expulsion of aboriginal natives from their land and cessation of citizenship rights predisposed them toward developing various mental and cognitive disorders. The findings elaborated by (Scott, Webb, & Sorrentino, 2011, pp. 69-70) reveal the healthy state of Australian aboriginal individuals during the pre-invasion era. The aboriginal population of Australia did not suffer from infectious disorders including influenza, measles, and smallpox before the state of invasion as evidenced by the research studies. Furthermore, these people lived with dignity and experienced good state of mental health while practicing their customs and traditions in the absence of any external interruption. However, presently Australian indigenous groups face challenging situations in terms of continuing their race with health and stability.
The Australian assimilation policy improvised legislative statute for forcibly separating the indigenous children from their families with the objective of providing them extra care and resources to enhance their health and development (Price, 2015, pp. 26-27). This policy indeed adversely influenced the psychosocial stability of the affected aboriginal children following their forcible expulsion from native places. The children remained deprived of dietary care and educational opportunities after their separation that considerably affected the pattern of their development. The objective of the assimilation policy revolved around the contention of providing equal privileges to the indigenous population' however, the illegitimate execution of this policy further resulted in disparity and psychosocial conflicts for the affected aboriginal individuals (Douglas & Finnane, 2012, p. 122). The assimilation policy further allowed government agencies to explore the native land of aboriginal people for the effective utilization of its resources for benefiting the entire Australian subcontinent This invasion of native land of aboriginal population resulted in the disruption of their culture, lifestyle and behavioural stability while predisposing them toward developing adverse clinical manifestations. The implementation of assimilation policy across Australia reduced the percentages of reservation of Aboriginal individuals in various employment opportunities and educational programs that reciprocally affected their socioeconomic development and state of mental and physical well being.
The Impact on Education
The apparent and formal objective of the assimilation policy attributed to providing an equal lifestyle and educational opportunities for the entire Australian population. However, the stipulation of the policy failed to consider the desire of Aboriginal people for retaining their traditional customs and culture while stepping toward the path of socioeconomic development. Furthermore, Australian whites failed in unequivocally accepting the aboriginal groups in accordance with the governmental stipulations that lead to their psychosomatic and socio-economic exploitation. The lack of educational opportunities for these groups reciprocally resulted in their decreased awareness regarding healthy lifestyle and disease patterns that considerably influenced their health status across the community environment. The evidence-based research literature describes the events of sexual assault undergone by aboriginal Australian children following the effective implementation of assimilation policies (Funston, 2013). This consistent exploitation indeed deprived these children in receiving the education that simultaneously affected their development in the multicultural context. The evidence-based findings reveal the influence of cultural factors on the health outcomes of the Australian aboriginal individuals (Shepherd, Li, & Zubrick, 2012). Indeed, the acquisition of homeland of indigenous natives by the governmental agencies with the objective of assimilating them in the white population adversely affected their educational opportunities and subsequent health outcomes while predisposing them toward acquiring numerous epidemic conditions. The research findings emphasized by (Freeman, et al., 2014) reveal the requirement of the culturally compatible healthcare system for Australian aboriginal groups while effectively educating the indigenous individuals and medical practitioners for overcoming the barriers of communal discrimination and racism to enhance the psychosomatic health of the target population. However, the assimilation policies of the Australian government targeted the elimination of the cultural uniqueness of aboriginal individuals that reciprocally influenced their education system and subsequent health outcomes across the community environment.