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Understanding health. The social & cultural constructs within living behavior & housing design Jenine Godwin Confirmed PhD Supervisors Professor Paul Memmott.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding health. The social & cultural constructs within living behavior & housing design Jenine Godwin Confirmed PhD Supervisors Professor Paul Memmott."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding health. The social & cultural constructs within living behavior & housing design Jenine Godwin Confirmed PhD Supervisors Professor Paul Memmott Associate Professor Andrew Jones

2 Aim of the research Significance of the research Methods Findings Timeline Expected limitations Questions Overview of presentation

3 The primary aim of the research: is to explore Aboriginal housing and how it impacts on individual and community health and or well-being

4 The secondary aims of the research : Examine Aboriginal housing perspectives, i.e. values, uses, functions etc, with community members in Dajarra, Urandangi and surrounding areas; Identify and make evident the significance of Aboriginal health and or well-being concepts

5 Secondary aims cont. Highlight the relationship between Aboriginal perception of health and housing in these communities; and Distinguish Government policy, that prevents current housing supply from delivering appropriate health and or well-being outcomes.

6 Research Outcomes How Aboriginal people use and value their housing in Dajarra, Urandangi and surrounding areas; What Aboriginal perspectives of what good and bad health mean in these communities;

7 Research outcomes cont. Identify critical intersections in the relationship between health and housing; and Informed policy advice and negotiation strategies in relation to healthy housing.

8 Current housing is not appropriate Housing implementation needs to: Living: understanding of Aboriginal world view, lifestyle, culture, language, native title, economic & political realms Delivering: housing services and organizations which reflects, identifies culture and specific aspects of social determinants that impact of Aboriginal lifestyles

9 Defining home Home' meant the house, but also everything that was in it and around it, as well as the people, and the sense of satisfaction and contentment that all these conveyed. You walk out of the house, but you always returned home." (Rybczynski, W 1987:62.)

10 Aboriginal definition of home, place, culture…. … a mutual interaction between people and the environment. Places are characterized by continual processes of change including the addition of new properties of place and the creation of new places. Displacement and forced changes to place can be a traumatic and damaging experience. Place is part of culture, and culture is part of place (Long 2005:63.)

11 Aboriginal housing 1967 Referendum – Commonwealth Government developing policies to address housing; 1972 formation of the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio 1973-75 new approach to housing, labeled self determination

12 Indigenous housing needs major repair: Almost one in three houses in Indigenous communities need extensive repairs or should be demolished….. (Corbett, K. 2007)

13 ABORIGINAL WORLDVIEW HealthHousingEducation Social Welfare Mental Health Addictive Issues Aged CareEmployment clinical cultural services case management services funding Homeless cultural issues access financial parenting family violence youth racism stolen generation diagnosis service/access stolen generation treatment gambling alcohol youth illegal substances prescription drugs chroming curriculum attendance cultural issues attendance services family culture land CDEP training racism recruitment


15 Dajarra & Urandangi communities experience complex forms of housing & living options. Hence, they adapt to what they have (in comparison to most peoples standards), and they grow up in an environment assuming the way they are living is normal.

16 Methodology Required me to be absorbed into the daily community life In Dajarra I rented a one bedroom house from the Department of Housing house for 12 weeks Maintaining the house and watered the yard Used the services Accepted as a community member i.e. invited to cook ups, community meetings, visiting elders i.e. Macie Travelling an hour and a half to the Isa (shopping or appointments) i.e. carpooling

17 Fieldwork in Dajarra & Urandangi Qualitative data collection – interviews yarning Mapping of the community Visual Anthropology Participant Action Research


19 OVERCROWDING … each one gets an income and will have their own little place to put their food so nobody puts food out in the open. Everybodys that got food, have got food stored in their bedroom, but they only take enough out for them and their kids rather than feed like, you know blackfella way, like you got a big pot of stew everybody gets to ea t. (community member 2008)

20 DUST/WIND Bedourie Dust, from the south Eye & respiratory infections Gets into everything i.e. clothes in drawers, kitchen utensils, food stored on benches e.g. bread etc No architectural housing design eliminates dust entering in the house. The people close there house up and sometimes it can be up to 40C+ heat outside

21 IMPORTANCE OF EXTERNAL LIVING Outside fire & cooking areas These areas are used for social gatherings cook ups Mainly used in the winter. In summer people are in with air conditioners, but most dont like air conditioners External areas need to be considered when building a house with a cover or sitting under and an open fire area in the middle

22 Limitations identified Community lores; Contacts; sorry business Mens & womens business; Accessing the community; Gender roles; Communication

23 Bibliography Corbett, K. 2007 Indigenous housing 'needs major repair, in The Age, Melbourne, 20/4/07. Long, S. 2005 Gidyea Fire: A Study of the transformation and maintenance of Aboriginal place properties on the Georgina River, PhD Thesis, School of Geography, Planning and Architecture, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, May. Rybczynski.W. 1987. Home: A Short History of an Idea. New York U.S.A.: Penguin Books. Original edition, 1986.

24 Thank-you Questions??

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