Add to My MSN

The Health Benefits of Australia's Apology

2/14/2008 9:51:15 AM

Tags: Aboriginal, Australia, Apology, reparations, Health, Alcoholism, depression

Australia's ApologyThe Australian government’s recent apology to the Aboriginal people for historic wrongs could benefit people’s health, Rachel Nowak reports for the New Scientist. The Aboriginal people currently struggle with high rates of alcoholism, depression, and other physical and mental health issues. Prime Minister Paul Rudd’s apology for forced “assimilation” programs that ended in 1970 has been called “tremendously significant in mental health respects,” by medical policy researcher Marlene Kong. “It will help the healing process, and that in turn will contribute to physical well-being.”

Native Americans in the United States struggle with some of the same issues of substance abuse and depression, yet “the United States has no general program of reparations for Native Americans and no prospects for adopting one,” David C. Williams writes for Cultural Survival Quarterly. Williams believes that Americans’ aversion to guilt is holding up the reparations processes, no matter what the potential benefits could be.

Even with the formal apology, experts quoted by the New Scientist recognize that Australia has a long way to go toward closing the health gap between Aboriginal people and the rest of the country. A 17-year differential in life expectancy currently exists between some Aboriginal communities and Australia as a whole. The government has pledged to close that rift within a generation, but experts agree that greater resources are needed to address the problem.

Bennett Gordon

Photo by Douglas Kastle, licensed under Creative Commons.



Related Content

The Journey of Nishiyuu

In Canada, six James Bay Cree youth embarked on the 1,000-mile Journey of Nishiyuu to reclaim Aborig...

Longest Science Experiment. Ever.

The Pitch Drop Experiment is the longest running experiment…that no one’s actually witnessed… 

Hip-Hop Down Under

Australian rap is the coolest new music you’ve never heard. It mixes tight rhymes and fat beats with...

I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do . . .

Weddings aren't what they used to be.

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 

amira
7/12/2014 6:06:41 AM
My niece lives in Australia and she told me there is a huge health gap between aboriginal people and the rest of the country, now the authorities try to do something about but this takes a lot of times, even more than the authorities predicted. It`s great that my niece can http://www.njhearingaids.com/our-staff all the info she needs about aural rehabilitation, hopefully the aboriginal people of Australia will have access to such great medical services soon.



Pay Now & Save $5!
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $31.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!