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Healthy Country: Healthy People? Exploring the health benefits of Indigenous natural resource management

Burgess, Christopher Paul, Johnston, Fay Helena, Bowman, David M. J. S. and Whitehead, Peter J. (2005). Healthy Country: Healthy People? Exploring the health benefits of Indigenous natural resource management. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health,29(2):117-122.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Altmetric Score Altmetric Score is 6
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IRMA ID A00004xPUB85
Title Healthy Country: Healthy People? Exploring the health benefits of Indigenous natural resource management
Author Burgess, Christopher Paul
Johnston, Fay Helena
Bowman, David M. J. S.
Whitehead, Peter J.
Journal Name Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Publication Date 2005
Volume Number 29
Issue Number 2
ISSN 1326-0200   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 117
End Page 122
Total Pages 6
Place of Publication Curtain ACT, Australia
Publisher Public Health Association of Australia
Field of Research 1117 - Public Health and Health Services
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract OBJECTIVE: Decades of health-related research have produced a large body of knowledge describing alarming rates of morbidity, mortality and social/cultural disruption among Indigenous Australians, but have failed to deliver sustainable interventions to arrest the deepening spiral of ill-health. This paper explores the potential of Indigenous natural resource management (NRM) activities to promote and preserve Indigenous health in remote areas of northern Australia. METHOD: A literature review of the health, social science and ecology peer-reviewed journals and secondary literature. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Effective interventions in Indigenous health will require trans-disciplinary, holistic approaches that explicitly incorporate Indigenous health beliefs and engage with the social and cultural drivers of health. Aboriginal peoples maintain a strong belief that continued association with and caring for ancestral lands is a key determinant of health. Individual engagement with 'country' provides opportunities for physical activity and improved diet as well as boosting individual autonomy and self-esteem. Internationally, such culturally congruent health promotion activities have been successful in programs targeting substance abuse and chronic diseases. NRM is fundamental to the maintenance of biodiversity of northern Australia. Increased support for Indigenous involvement in land and sea NRM programs would also deliver concrete social benefits for communities including opportunities for sustainable and culturally apt regional employment, applied education and economic development. NRM may also reinvigorate societal/cultural constructs, increasing collective esteem and social cohesion.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-842X.2005.tb00060.x   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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