Indigenous Australians. Let’s close the gap!

Another publication we had prepared for last weeks “Australian Week” is today’s post: Indigenous Australians. The objective of this publication is to show to all of our readers who are the “indigenous” whom we have been talking about on Tuesday, what is their culture, why are they in a situation of discrimination, and what are the policies that protect them.

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We believe that “recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, history and culture is about respect for all Australians”. As this sentence introduces, the Australian Indigenous Population is formed by two different ethnic groups: the Aboriginal group and the Torres Strait Islander group.

The term “Aboriginal Australians” was used by the British after they began colonising Australia in 1788 to refer to all people they found already inhabiting the continent, and later on for the descendentes of those people.

To this group belong a wide variety of groups dispersed across the Australian continent. Each group has differentiated its own language and culture. But they are united under one flag that they have used to identify the Aboriginal Australian people:

aboriginal-flag

In contrast to “Aboriginal Australians”, “Torres Strait Islanders” are those people whom belong to the indigenous australians from Queensland (Northern Territory of Australia). This group is culturally and genetically Melanesian people, similar to the Papua New Guinea population. They are distinct from the Aboriginal people of the rest of Australia, and they are referred to separately. Their flag is this one:

600px-flag_of_the_torres_strait_islanders-svg

“Different communities will have different priorities and different ways they want to develop and sustain economic independence in their region”. Although, many organisations and specific government departments are working to ensure wellbeing to these individuals and to close, ultimately, the gap. “Having a safe community to live in is critical to closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage”.

In 2014, the indigenous population of Australia was formed by 713,589 people. It implies that only 3% of the whole Australian population is indigenous, which is a minority. That’s why, together with the different race and colour, culture and traditions, economical and educational situation, it provoques that they are at a disadvantage or in a discriminative situation in comparison with those descended from typically European backgrounds that live in Australia.

Recently, the “closing the gap health program” has been created as a compromise to apply the necessary policies, strategies and plans to overcome this situation of inequality in the health system of the indigenous population. Most of them are based on international legislations and rights included in conventions agreed with the UN.

To guarantee a decent life for indigenous citizens is going to be a slow and long trip. From our point of view, the most important step is recognising both “Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders people” in the Australian Constitution. They were, and will always be part of Australia. There is no reason for this discrimination and division to continue. They are citizens and they need the support of the government as do all those hoping to live in Australia.

There is lots of work to do but as a nation they have the right tools.

We hope you have enjoyed today’s post.

Thank you very much for reading us!!!

Otra de las publicaciones que teníamos previstas para la pasada “Australian Week” era la publicación de hoy: Indígenas Australianos. El objetivo de esta publicación es mostrar a todos nuestros lectores quiénes son los “indígenas” de los que hablábamos el martes, cuál es su cultura, por qué se encuentran en situación de discriminación y cuáles son las políticas que los defienden.

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Creemos que “reconocer los grupos Aborígenes y Torres Strait Islander, historia y cultura es respetar a todos los Australianos”. Esta frase lo ha afirmado bien, la población indígena de Australia está formada por dos grupos étnicos diferentes: el grupo Aborigen australiano y los Torres Strait Islander.

“Australianos aborigen” fue usado por los británicos después de la colonización de Australia en 1788 para referirse a todas las personas que encontraban todavía habitando el continente, más tarde, usándolo también para referirse a los descendientes de estas personas.

A este grupo pertenece una gran variedad de grupos dispersos por todo el continente australiano. Cada grupo ha diferenciado su propia lengua y cultura. Pero sólo una es la bandera que han utilizado para identificar la gente aborigen de Australia:

aboriginal-flag

A diferencia de los “aborígenes”, los “Torres Strait Islanders” son aquellas personas que pertenecen al grupo de indígenas de Queensland (territorio situado al Norte de Australia). Este grupo es culturalmente y genéticamente perteneciente a lo que se conoce como melanesio, al igual que la población de Papúa Nueva Guinea. Este grupo es diferente del aborigen y en Australia se refieren a ellos de forma separada. Su bandera es esta: 600px-flag_of_the_torres_strait_islanders-svg

“Diferentes comunidades tendrán prioridades diferentes y maneras diferentes de desarrollo e independiente sustento económico en sus regiones”. Sin embargo, muchas son las organizaciones y específicos departamentos del gobierno los que están trabajando para asegurar el bienestar de estos individuos y cerrar, de forma definitiva, la diferencia existente. “Tener una comunidad segura en la que vivir es crucial para cerrar la brecha de desventaja de los indígenas”.

En 2014, la población indígena de Australia era de 713,589 personas. Esto significa que sólo un 3% del total de la población australiana es indígena, lo cual es considerada minoritaria. Ello, junto su diferencia de raza/color, costumbres culturales, posición económica y educativa, hace que se encuentren en una situación de desventaja o discriminación en comparación con aquellos que descienden típicamente de familias europeas que viven en Australia.

Recientemente, el “programa de sanidad cierra la brecha” ha sido creado como compromiso para aplicar las políticas, estrategias y planes necesarios para superar esta situación de desigualdad en los sistemas de salud de la población indígena. La mayoría de ellos están basados en legislaciones internacionales y derechos contenidos en convenciones acordadas con la ONU.

Garantizar una vida decente para los ciudadanos indígenas va a ser un lento y largo viaje. Desde nuestro punto de vista, el paso más importante es reconocer a la gente “Aborigen y Torres Strait Islander” en la Constitución australiana. Ellos fueron, son y serán parte de Australia. Son ciudadanos y necesitan el apoyo del gobierno tanto como aquellos que esperan vivir en Australia.

Mucho trabajo queda por hacer pero como nación ellos tienen las herramientas adecuadas.

Esperamos que hayáis disfrutado del post de hoy.

¡Muchas gracias por estar ahí!

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2 thoughts on “Indigenous Australians. Let’s close the gap!

  1. I went to Melbourne, Australia about 10 years ago. There was a crisis of alcoholism and crimes and abuses related to alcoholism amongst the aboriginal community at the time, especially sexual abuse and molestation of children. It had reached crisis point. But the ‘solutions’ proposed was laughable. A lot Aborigine live in desolate, hard to reach areas where social services and employment opportunities are scant to non-existent. Most do not have the skills or the education to participate in the workforce. The government’s solution is to put license restrictions on alcohol, offer counseling services, but not a full scale rehab..none of which address the ReAL problem that is afflicting them, which is the theft of their land and obliteration of their culture.There is a clear segregation between the Aboriginal community vs. the others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment! You are completely correct and unfortunately not much has changed in this regard. Until Australia as a whole can move toward acceptance and real solutions, not just some kind of perverse attempt at assimilation without recognising the differences and past wrong doings nothing will change. We can only hope that in the future we have more knowledge and through this can come truths and understanding, and through that begin the process of reconciliation!

      Like

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