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Culture for health and wellbeing
Gwendolyn David, Robbie Wilson, Jennifer Yantarrnga, William von Hippel, Cindy Shannon, Jon Willis
Going On-Country is expected to have many benefits for the physical, social, emotional and cultural wellbeing of Aboriginal people living in remote areas. Whilst there is evidence that ‘Caring for Country’ programs can improve Aboriginal health, there has been little consideration for the potential benefits of self-initiated activities when On-Country. This research was therefore aimed at finding out if self-initiated On-Country activities are an important source of health benefit for the Anindilyakwa people of Groote Eylandt.
Whilst there are several barriers to going On-Country, the study suggests it is an important source for improving health. In particular, the evidence shows that collecting traditional foods is a culturally inclusive activity that is self-initiated and commonly performed On-Country, which in turn can have several health benefits.