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  1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities



    How would you establish and build partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organizations?    


Subject Functional Writing Pages 6 Style APA


Journal Reflection


How would you establish and build partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organizations?

Closing the gap between Australian non-indigenous and aboriginal people has been a matter of concern that has drawn attention of the government. While there are significant progresses, studies still show that the gap is still wide hence there are several benefits that the indigenous people are not enjoying. According to Bamblett (2018), child mortality rates, illiteracy level, and underdevelopment are still prominent among the aboriginal people. While several strategies that have been put to close this gap and regard aboriginal people as important as non-indigenous individuals, building relationship and working together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community is essential for the success of closing the gap. This journal, therefore, based on the course, reflects what I have learned and how I would establish and build partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organizations.

Based on the course, I have realized that several indigenous families and communities in the contemporary Australia experience several and immense challenges. Their resilience and strength are compromised by several complicated predicaments that include the ongoing dispossession, historical marginalization, and racism. According to Cusack (2019), marginalization contributes to high degree of unemployment, poverty, violence, and substance abuse among the aboriginal communities. The aforementioned factors affect negatively on the aboriginal children who present with poor health and low level of education and social outcomes when compared to non-indigenous children.

I have also learned that there are several factors that prevent the successful delivery of services to the Aboriginal people in order to close the gap. Lack of appropriate infrastructures prevents the logistics of service delivery.  Another factor include difficult social environment that is full of low level or trust, social participation, disempowerment, and high level of anxiety and disorganization (Sherriff et al., 2019).  Through the course, I have also learned that the evidence to respond to the problems that are facing non-indigenous is limited despite the government stating that it has several agencies and coordinating plan to effectively and quickly respond to the predicaments that are currently facing the aboriginal people.

What aboriginal people are undergoing is not only shameful, but also sad. It does appear well that a country where other people live a very lavish lifestyle, others are struggling with poverty. A country that prides itself to be among the developed countries should not host people who cannot comfortably get their daily meals. It is not because the country cannot afford, but it is because the group is neglected and there are no effective policies to address their concerns. Basically, I am talking about the issues so that it appears clearly that despite the attempts that have been made by the government to close the gap between non-indigenous and indigenous people in Australia, the aboriginal people are still suffering, hence other measures should be put into place in order to ensure the success of closing the gap campaign (Bharadwaj, 2020). It is in this context that one of the most effective ways of empowering the aboriginal people is to establish and build partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organizations.

Throughout the course, I have realized that by their connection and care for their country, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are vibrant partners behind significant environmental services. Notably, partnering that includes Indigenous Australians provides exceptional prospects to reverentially combine strengths of traditional practices to get ways of achieving wider health, economic, social and ethnic benefits. This will automatically close the gap between non-indigenous and aboriginal people, hence a cohesive country where everyone has equal opportunity and not categorized based on their origin. It is in this context that Bamblett (2018) says that in order to ensure the gap between the aboriginal community and non-ingenious people is closed, there must be a partnership or a good relationship between the two groups. One way to establish and build partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is collaboration. This the action of working with another group or somebody in order to attain one goal. Therefore, establish and build partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organizations, I would ensure that in every project that is undertaken by the government or the communities, I collaborate with aboriginal people and ensure that they fully participate in the development of the nation. A study conducted by Cusack (2019) reveals that one of the reasons why the gap between Aboriginal people and non-indigenous cannot be easily closed is because the aboriginal people are excluded in major activities and events of the state. This makes them feel like they are second class citizens in their own country. It is important to identify appropriate individuals among the aboriginal people to work with to make programs, events, and projects that are relevant to the development of all people. There is a perception that most decisions are made by non-indigenous because they form the majority in the legislative positions hence most of the decisions are those that favour them.

Another way that I would establish and build partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organizations is to address the historical injustices. While there have been many court decisions that favour the aboriginal people, they are not effectively enforced, something the makes the non-indigenous people to doubt any attempt to involve them in government and community projects and developments (Oguamanam & Hunka, 2018). I would, therefore, start by addressing such injustices and give what belongs to them while ensuring that their rights are respected like any other person in the country.  I learnt that some of their pieces of land were taken by the government and most of them have not been returned. This creates mistrust among the aboriginal people hence building an effective partnership and involving them in any development is quite difficult. According to Bamblett (2018), several historical issues since 1780 have had important influences on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Some of the communities are still managing the intergenerational trauma. A vibrant understanding of the local and general history offers greater insight for working with my local community. It is in this context where I learned that if I cannot assist to resolve the historical injustices, I will treat the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with dignity and respect in order for them to know that just like other individuals, they are respected.

Moreover, as long as the Aboriginal people are not treated like the non-indigenous, the gap between the two groups will still exist and building any effective partnership will be difficult. According to the study conducted by Cusack (2019), child mortality rate is high and life expectancy is low among the aboriginal individuals because they cannot access health facilities as their counterparts. On the same note, the illiteracy level is high among the aboriginal, something that deter them from engaging in active developments of their communities or state. In order to build and establish a good partnership, the aboriginal must be empowered through education and also by ensuring that they have schools, hospitals and other forms of infrastructure that are important for personal and community development.  As long as that equality is not achieved, an effective partnership cannot exist. Bamblett (2018) states that in most cases, partnership occurs when the two parties involved share several things in common and have the same  goal, something that is lacking between aboriginal and non-indigenous people. It is in this context that creating shared goals and interest is an important factor for an effective partnership that I will try to achieve.

I would also recognize the efforts made by the aboriginal people in ensuring that the environment is not destroyed. Recognizing their efforts establishes confidence, hence the group will be proud that they are part of the communities that conserve the environment. It is important to note that the ecosystem and the forests that are kept well are found within the indigenous territories, a factor which means that indigenous people have been practicing sustainable practices for environmental development and management (Lilley, Sedgwick & Pellicano, 2019).  It is in this regard that they should be part of decisions making and be rewarded for the good things they have done as far as environmental conservation is concerned. According to Bamblett (2018), once the aboriginal people feel that they are part of development, then it easy to establish and build partnership with them.

While I knew that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are behind in terms of development because they do not want to work hard, I have come to realize that their state is attributed by the fact that they are not equally treated as others, the non-indigenous. One of the most important ways of elevating their situation is building partnership with them. The partnership shall not only empower them, but will put them in a state where they can enjoy the opportunities that non-indigenous people are getting (Somerville et al., 2019). As such, the course has really changed my way of thinking about the aboriginal people. I now believe that just like others, they can attain development mileages and live healthily when issues that affect them such inability to access quality health care and other forms of infrastructure are sorted.




Bamblett, L. (2018). Serious whitefella stuff: When solutions become the problem in Indigenous affairs [Book Review]. Australian Aboriginal Studies, (2), 80.

Bharadwaj, L. (2020). A Framework for Building Research Partnerships with First Nations Communities. Environmental Health Insights8(1).

Cusack, L. (2019). Culturally safe midwifery practice: Working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Australian Midwifery News19(1), 7.

Lilley, R., Sedgwick, M., & Pellicano, E. (2019). We look after our own mob: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences of autism.

Oguamanam, C., & Hunka, R. (2018). Aboriginal Partnership, Capacity Building and Capacity Development on ABS: The Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council (MAPC) and ABS Canada Experience. Genetic Resources, Justice and Reconciliation: Canada and Global Access and Benefit Sharing, ed (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Sherriff, S. L., Miller, H., Tong, A., Williamson, A., Muthayya, S., Redman, S., … & Haynes, A. (2019). Building trust and sharing power for co-creation in Aboriginal health research: a stakeholder interview study. Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice15(3), 371-392.

Somerville, R., Cullen, J., McIntyre, M., Townsend, C., & Pope, S. (2017). Engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the ‘Proper Way’. Newparadigm: the Australian Journal on Psychosocial Rehabilitation14, 1-4.




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