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The Jumbun community can be located at Murray Upper which is about 40 kilometers to the south-west of Tully. This community has a population of about 160 to 200 individuals and are often termed to as the ‘Rainforest People.’ The Jumbun cultural engagement project was initiated at Murray Upper, which is the location of this indigenous community. The reason for the establishment of the project was as a result of people needing and expressing an interest in recording as well as documenting their knowledge management and cultural craft. It was established that a lot of Australian in this day and age, do not understand some of the cultural practices that were held by the forefathers.
For this reason, most individuals were interested in understanding some of the cultural beliefs, practices, and knowledge that their ancestors might have had, and thus the development of the Jumbun cultural engagement project. The rationale for establishing the program was, therefore, to educate the masses about their culture. In order to carry out the project, a number of stakeholders were involved. For instance, as the excerpt points out, the project was established by bringing together some individuals who include the children and their parents, as well as elders. These were the stakeholders that were necessary for carrying out the project. In addition to this, the Cassowary Coast Regional Council was of great significance to the project as it helped the people of Murray Upper to record as well as document their cultural knowledge and craft.
Aboriginal Worldview and knowledge systems
The worldview, as well as knowledge systems of the aboriginal people, differs significantly with the beliefs of the non-aboriginal individuals. According to Graham, an Aboriginal philosopher, there are two kinds of meaningful relationships that the community has. The first is the relationship that exists between land and people. These communities believe that the land is sacred and is what determines the humanity as well as the patterns that exist for social relations. The second vital belief that is held by these individuals is the fact that people are not alone in the world which can be represented by the extensive kinship systems that the Aboriginal have. For that reason, for these communities, the relationship that exists between man and land as well as among each other is what drives meaning to life (Stocker, Collard & Rooney, 2016). As it has been established in the case study, the indigenous people returned to Murray Upper after the purchase of a number of sugarcane farms which brought the Jumbun people to reclaim their land. Since their return, they have been mainly involved in farming activities as well as providing walks inside the rainforests. As learned from the project, the Aboriginal people still had a connection to the land when they returned, and they continue to hold land as a priceless item as most of their knowledge systems and worldview are embedded on the relationship that people have with the land as well as how people are connected with each other through kinship systems.
Aboriginal Concepts of Well-Being
According to the National Aboriginal Health Strategy, the Aboriginal health is not only stated as the physical well-being of a person but also the emotional, social as well as cultural well-being of the entire community. This essentially means that Aboriginal health is quite much broader and extends to the entire community and does not focus on the health of just a single individual. One of the most significant factors that are impacting the well-being of the community is spirituality which can be stated as a feeling of connectedness with the past value of the ancestors and upholding these morals which they represent (Poroch et al., 2009). As established from the project, the concept of well-being for the Aboriginal community is more about belonging to an Aboriginal space, experiencing the connectedness in the community which exists among the people and land and the people with nature which involves adequate and proper nutrition as well as shelter. The concepts learned can be incorporated in the cultural engagement as they show the concept of well-being differs from the ordinary people when it comes to the Aboriginal community (Stewart, 2014). Their individual’s health status determines the ordinary non- Aboriginal's well-being. However, the indigenous community has to put into consideration the well-being of the entire community.
The Social Determinants of Indigenous Health
The toxic combination of poor policies, economics as well as politics has in a significant way been responsible for the fact that many people in the world are not enjoying the good health which is biologically possible (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2017). This way, it can be established that social injustices are killing people on a larger scale than perceived. Some of the social determinants of Indigenous health include the trauma of the stolen generation. Using the social determinant theories, it can be established that the health of the population can be determined through social outcomes (Baum, 2016). The social determinants of indigenous health include a connection to the community, family, country, culture or language. The indigenous people believe that well-being is meant for the whole community and therefore the health of the people is dependent on the broad approach of the matter by looking at the community as a whole (Indigenous Corporate Training Inc., 2016). Racism is another social determinant of the indigenous health. This is one of the trauma’s that has been experienced by the present and the previous generations. The connection between the social determinants of the indigenous health and course material is that from the project, it could be established that these determinants of health could also influence other kinds of health determinants like health behaviors and access to medical facilities (Australian Government, 2017). Some other social determinants of health for these individuals include the early childhood development as well as the issue of education and youthfulness. Younger and educated people are less likely to fall ill compared to the older generation.
Inequalities Resulting from Australia’s History
Inequalities between Australia’s Indigenous and non-indigenous community exists in many aspects. One of the areas that these inequalities surface is in health between the aboriginal and the non-aboriginal individuals of the country. Comparing the life expectancy of the two groups, it could be established that for the aboriginal, it is 10.6 years lower than that of their counterparts. Some of the reasons responsible for this fact include non-communicable diseases which are responsible for 70 % of this health gap. Other health risks that have led to the development of this inequality in life expectancy is cardiovascular diseases at 23% followed by diabetes at 12% and finally mental disorders at 12% (Markwick, Ansari, Sullivan, Parsons & McNeil, 2014). As it can be established, therefore, the inequalities that exist in the two groups especially arise from the social determinants of health. Another way that the inequality exists is that the indigenous people had never been officially included among the citizens of Australia by the government or counted in the Commonwealth census and thus it became impossible for the government to make legislature for them (Daley, 2017). Finally, regarding the economy, the indigenous community has over times refused to sell parts of their land for economic developments and have refused to sell their farm produces due to the cultural belief regarding the connection that they have with their lands. For this reason, they have been alienated from the economic prowess of the country substantially.
Aboriginal Community Development Principles
One of the important aspects of the Jumbun community, as detailed in the excerpt, is that of sticking together as a community and growing together to be able to handle the challenges that face them. This way, the people of the community have been able to adopt a simple way of living that has led to the development of their communities (Workforce Council, 2016). Some of the development principles that has led to the growth of the Aboriginal people include facilitation of community ownership as well as control, the establishment of trusted partnerships, deeply-embedded culture and finally using community-based approaches in terms of development (Campbell, Pyett, McCarthy, Whiteside & Tsey, 2015). For instance, the Jumbun community believes in the land as a sacred entity, and through this, they cultivate their farms for sustenance. They grow through their faith and belief and in the process in which they are interconnected to conduct development projects for the community (Bolongaro, 2014). Looking at the Jumbun project, for instance, it can be established that community development principles arise when the people come together to collaborate ion activities such as farming and serving as tour-guides in the rainforest. Though simple strategies, the indigenous community can thrive and develop itself.
Cultural Safety and Competence
Improving the cultural safety as well as the competency of the healthcare services could increase the chances of more aboriginal individuals having access to health care and thus improve the disparities or inequalities in the health outcomes of these individuals when compared to the non-aboriginal individuals (The University of Adelaide, 2017). It could also be done indirectly. Cultural competency, therefore, required the community to have a given set of values as well as principles which demonstrate attitudes, behaviors, structures, and policies which enable them to work as effectively as possible across the cultures (Australian Government, 2013). For this reason, the community would be forced to act in a particular manner. The ideas of cultural safety and competency have been incorporated in the Jumbun community in that the project management that was undertaken was to teach the children and the grandchildren of the members of the knowledge that was passed on to the current generation from the ancestors. This means that children and grandchildren had to uphold a specific code of conduct which would dictate their behavior. As noted from the project, the aim of teaching the children about their culture is to help them grow with a particular sense of pride. Cultural safety and competency are therefore essential in teaching the current and upcoming generations about the essence of their culture. It educates them on how to behave and adhere to the principles laid out for the betterment of the community.
Effective Cross-cultural Communication
Some traditional cultures would require a high sense of value to be placed on maintaining as well as building relationships. Effective cross-cultural communication is therefore essential for establishing and maintaining these relations. However, most of the Aboriginal individuals do not speak English as a first language. There are some who also speak the English language with a different dialect such as Aboriginal English and Kriol (Queensland Health Government, 2015). For this reason, direct communication might result in discouraged participation, misleading information as well as making it difficult to acquire essential information especially when an individual is communicating in non-standard English with the wrong pronunciations. To ensure Effective cross-cultural communication, some of the strategies that have been involved include using indirect approaches such as framing a question like a statement and then providing enough time for the answer to be given (Australian Government, 2015). In addition to this, in the process of communication, the aboriginal English speaking individuals could be asked if they understood the meanings of the sentences or words in the question before answering to ensure clear communication. Communication assistance, as well as cultural support, could go a long way in ensuring effective cultural communication. As noted from the project, the indigenous community has to understand how to communicate effectively in order to give the guided tours across the rainforest.
In conducting the project, there was a lot to be learned by the younger generations from their elders. Initially, the reason why the project was conducted was to educate this young generation about their culture so that they can uphold what they stand for with pride and dignity. As shown in the case study, the project was a success as there was a lot that got to be learned and serve as beneficial to the people involved. For instance, some benefits that could be established in the process include the fact that the community was able to record as well as document their cultural knowledge. In addition to this, there was a strong sense of social inclusion as well as increased and improved communication among individuals. The program was also successful in that the community began taking new challenges as well as acting on defined priorities instead of only focusing on what culture requires of them. Also, the program benefitted the community in helping to build resilience as well as empowerment.
One way I could relate the principle that I have learned in my future working is to ensure that I consider culture as an essential aspect during the treatment process since it ensures that I understand the background of the patient before any medical procedures. Another way I relate to the principle learned to my future practice is understanding that in order to ensure the proper delivery of service, effective communication is essential. Communicating with indigenous individuals could be a challenging task, but with the right assistance, it could be possible to assist the community. In the future, I envision being a caregiver who does not discriminate based on the social background of a person. Regardless of whether a person is indigenous or non-indigenous, fairness should apply to all Australian people regardless of the culture that one comes from.
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