Aboriginal Culture and Health

2008 - Volume 11 Number 8

When we reflect on indicators of health on our planet – global warming, wealth distribution, social unrest, war – very few would think of Dreamtime stories.

But perhaps we are wise to recall that how we understand our place in the cosmos actually does have a material effect on the will to keep breathing, keep doing, and surviving.

The land is fundamental for healthy individual, family, clan group, society, community and nation. The land governs Aboriginal law and life. And it is from connection to country that Aboriginal identity and belonging derive.


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Public Transport, Social Inclusion and Urban Renewal

2008 - Volume 11 Number 7

A car dominated transport system is a recipe for disaster. They are expensive, unhealthy and dangerous.

Without a total rethink and dramatic changes our cities risk economic and environmental collapse. People are pushed into private vehicles. Building more freeways is seen a solution.

Minimal planning or spending has not gone into healthier alternatives such a cycling and walking. There are rising health costs due to toxic gas and particle emissions; medical costs due to obesity; and the cost associated with accidents. The threat from greenhouse gas emissions to global warming might be the greatest cost.


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US militarism and the people of Guam

2008 - Volume 11 Number 6

The Chamoru people of Guam are desperate. They have lost their land. They have lost their right to govern themselves. They have lost many of their own people to cancers due to the high contamination of the land.

They feel abandoned by the United Nations which has not upheld its own protocols and conventions. They have lost their resources and public utilities to privatisation. This indigenous culture will die rapidly without action. The death of culture and the increasing death rate of the people due to poverty and sickness amount to ‘ethnic cleansing’.

The US presence with its massive ecological and military footprint threatens the people of Guam in a number of ways: their culture, their language, their health, their livelihood and indeed their very existence. Being where they are, the people of this tiny island are directly threatened in the event of a military strike in the region.


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Food today...what about tomorrow?

2008 - Volume 11 Number 5

Increases in the prices of energy and food in recent years pose an enormous problem for the 5.1 billion people in developing nations – roughly a billion of whom live on the equivalent of one dollar a day. 

Access to adequate food is a right protected by international law, yet the ongoing emergency may reinforce long-entrenched patterns of exclusion and discrimination. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Association 854 million people of the world’s 6.5 billion people do not receive their minimum daily food requirement. The 83% increase in food prices over the last three years has been catastrophic for these people on the margins of the global economy.

The most severe repercussions of this crisis will be felt by people already living in precarious and marginalised situations, particularly women and children, minorities and people with disabilities.


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Democratic Republic of Congo - Out of Sight, Out of Mind

2008 - Volume 11 Number 4

The world’s media has been saturated with coverage of warfare in recent years, yet the deadliest conflict since the Second World War has gone virtually unreported by the press.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has endured a loss of life on the scale of September 11 every two days since 1998. This war, and the silence that surrounds it, has been sustained by the vested interests of nations and corporations hungry to make a profit.


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