Aboriginal Culture and Self Determination

The term Aboriginal refers to a person who is of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, who identifies as such, and who is accepted as such by the community in which s/he lives.

Self determination is a process as well as a collective right exercised by peoples rather than individuals. The right to self determination is the right to make decisions. The practical exercise of self determination is central to Aboriginal health. It underpins cultural, community, family and individual well being. Aboriginal self determination and responsibility lie at the heart of Aboriginal community control in the provision of primary health care services.

Contemporary Aboriginal culture is extremely diverse. It is important that Aboriginal people be given choices where possible rather than health service staff assuming that all Aboriginal people will share the same attitudes and opinions.

OATSIH’s Overarching Goal

To ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples enjoy a healthy life equal to that of the general population that is enriched by a strong living culture, dignity and justice.

Excerpt taken from the National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2003-2013 Australian Government Implementation Plan 2007-2013.

It is with this philosophy and that of the Steering Committee that the Bullinah Health Service intend to ensure a well rounded, community controlled health Service for the communities of Ballina and surrounding areas.