Please be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in the photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.

Cultural and social determinants

"Those of us who have worked on the frontline of Aboriginal health for any length of time know that beneath the surface reality of Aboriginal people's poor health outcomes sits a deeper truth. It is about the importance of social and emotional wellbeing, and how this flows from a sense of control over one's own life. Where this is lacking, as it is in so many Aboriginal families and communities, there is instead indifference and despair and a descent into poor lifestyle choices and self-destructive behaviours. Our medical professionals do a great job of prescribing medicines and devising treatment programs but, to fix the root causes of ill-health, we need something more. As Aboriginal people we need to have a sense of agency in our lives, that we are not stray leaves blowing about in the wind. In a word, we need empowerment".

Pat Anderson AO, Chairperson, The Lowitja Institute, quoted in Promoting Aboriginal Health The Family Wellbeing Empowerment Approach by M. Whiteside,  K. Tsey, Y. Cadet-James & J. McCalman, published by Springer in 2014 as part of their SpringerBriefs in Public Health series.