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Module: Core Curriculum in Health Psychology

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Yvonne Clark,
School of Psychology,
University of Adelaide


The health and social and emotional wellbeing outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are of great concern both within the general population and the Indigenous population in Australia. Aboriginal people are overrepresented on most of the health, social and welfare statistics in comparison to non-Aboriginal people. This is coupled with the lower life expectancy for Aboriginal people that is somewhere between 11 and 17 years (AIHW, 2011).
Whilst there are various initiatives, services, accountability mechanisms to assist in closing the health and welfare disparities for Aboriginal people, it is proving to be a difficult and slow process.
One of the initiatives for closing the disparity gap include cultural competency for the various health professions. Cultural competency means that services, the professions and clinicians within them must foster understanding of historical and current factors, awareness, skills and access resources to effectively work with Aboriginal people to assist in achieving positive health and welfare outcomes.

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