Improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health relies on addressing broader issues than biomedical health. Social factors – such as housing, education, employment and transport – must also be addressed if we are to achieve lasting health gains.
Tobacco is a major cause of the gap in life expectancybetween Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians . Smoking prevalence in remote Aboriginal communities is several times higher than the national average  and has not declined over recent decades - suggesting that mainstream health promotion campaigns have been ineffective in this challenging setting. Following a community outreach program of Adult Health Checks, tobacco control was identified as a major priority to improve the health of people in Maningrida.
In 1997 the Bringing Them Home Report brought attention to those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were taken away from their families for the purpose of assimilation. Less attention was given to those children who were also taken away but grew up in mission and settlement dormitories. Over a number of decades, and until the early 1970s, a large number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were taken into mission and settlement dormitories. In various ways they were physically and socially separated from their families.
A Cluster of Melioidosis Cases from an Endemic Region Is Clonal and Is Linked to the Water Supply Using Molecular Typing of Bukholderia Pseudomallei Isolates
Nine cases of melioidosis with four deaths occurred over a 28-month period in members of a small remote Aboriginal community in the top end of the Northern Territory of Australia. Typing by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis showed isolates of Burkholderia pseudomallei from six of the cases to be clonal and also identical to an isolate from the community water supply, but not to soil isolates. The clonality of the isolates found in this cluster contrasts with the marked genetic diversity of human and environmental isolates found in this region which is hyperendemic for B. pseudomallei.
A Global Snapshot of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples' Health: The Lancet–Lowitja Institute Collaboration
The purpose of this report is to provide a more detailed understanding of the context of each population included in a paper published by The Lancet in April 2016, 'Indigenous and Tribal Peoples' Health (The Lancet–Lowitja Institute Collaboration): A population study' by I. Anderson, B. Robson, M. Connolly et al.
A Longitudinal Data Resource on Key Influences on Health in the Northern Territory: Opportunities and Obstacles
This is the first in the CRC for Aboriginal Health's Discussion Paper Series. The purpose of this study is to increase understanding among researchers, health professionals, and government policy makers of the social and environmental determinants of health. Determinants include income, employment, education, housing, community infrastructure, social disruption, crime and violence.
A Multifaceted Health-service Intervention in Remote Aboriginal Communities: 3-year follow-up of the impact on diabetes care
Objective: To examine the trends in processes of diabetes care and in participant outcomes after an intervention in two remote regions of Australia. Design: Follow-up study over 3years. Setting: Seven health centres in the Tiwi Islands and the Katherine West region of the Northern Territory. Participants: 137Aboriginal people with type 2diabetes.
A New Variant of Dual-record Population Estimation with an Application in Remote Indigenous Communities
Dual-record system methods are commonly used as a basis for population estimation. A basic assumption is that the units sampled are drawn only from the population to be estimated. This assumption cannot be met for remote Indigenous communities in Australia. A new variant of dual-record population estimation is presented, which relies on the availability of specific additional information to relax the assumption of perfect frame specification. This variant is applied to two remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory of Australia, using locally available data sources.
A Review of Programs that Targeted Environmental Factors for Improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
Effective interventions to improve population and individual health require environmental change as well as strategies that target individual behaviours and clinical factors. This is the basis of implementing an ecological approach to health programs and health promotion. For Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islanders, colonisation has made the physical and social environment particularly detrimental for health.
The Lowitja Institute is a founding partner of Literacy for Life Foundation, an Aboriginal-led initiative aiming to lift adult literacy in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. An estimated 40 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults have minimal English literacy, a figure that rises to as high as 70 per cent in many remote areas. So long as these adult illiteracy rates exist, meaningful progress towards many Closing the Gap targets will be impossible.
The Lowitja Institute has approved funding for Stage 2 of the Aboriginal adult literacy campaign following the successful pilot of the program over the past year in the New South Wales outback community of Wilcannia.
Aboriginal People Travelling Well literature review: driver licensing issues, seat restraint non-compliance, Aboriginal health, Aboriginal disability
This review focuses on the interaction between access to safe and sufficient transport, and the effects on the wellbeing and health of Aboriginal people. Aspects under specific consideration are driver licensing, use of seat restraints, and health and disability needs. Attaining and retaining a drivers license for life, and travelling safely, which includes being trained to drive safely and being educated and aware of the efficacy of seat restraints are important issues for Aboriginal people.
The CRCAH hosted a research development roundtable on Aboriginal prison health in Canberra on 28 November 2007, in partnership with the Public Health Association of Australia and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).
The roundtable aimed to bring together community representatives, correction staff (policy, program, management and custodial staff), researchers and advocates in order to:
Beyond Bandaids is a collection of sixteen papers from the CRCAH Social Determinants of Aboriginal Health Workshop held in Adelaide in July 2004.
This publication reports on a research project which set out to analyse recent research and policy documents on indigenous peoples' development needs and aspirations, and was aimed at assessing the extent to which current developments in vocational education and training research and policy were sufficiently informed by this separate but related body of literature. The report argues that current policy settings and research on the educational needs of indigenous Australians have been overly influenced by human capital theory and economic rationalist policy.
Ambivalent Helpers and Unhealthy Choices: Public health practitioners' narratives of Indigenous ill-health
Public health practitioners in Australian indigenous health work in a complex political environment. Public health training is limited in providing them with conceptual tools needed to unpack the postcolonial nexus of fourth-world health. A workshop was designed by the authors to facilitate critical reflection on how the concepts of race and culture are used in constructions of indigenous ill-health. It was attended by researchers, students, clinicians and bureaucrats working in public health in northern Australia.
In 2012, the remote Aboriginal community of Wilcannia in western NSW hosted the first Australian pilot of a Cuban mass adult literacy campaign model known as Yes I Can. The aim was to investigate the appropriateness of this model in Aboriginal Australia. Building on an intensive community development process of ‘socialisation and mobilisation’, sixteen community members with very low literacy graduated from the basic literacy course, with the majority continuing on into post-literacy activities, further training and/or employment.