Learning outcome

After completing this aspect of the focus topic, students will be able to describe traditional kinship systems, and spiritual connections to Country and culture that influence the views that many Australian Indigenous peoples have of health and wellbeing.

Estimated completion time: 30-60 mins

Please note: Developing an understanding of the cultures of Australian Indigenous peoples is central to being able to deliver culturally-safe palliative care.

A broad overview of some aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures is provided in this activity. However, as Aboriginal cultures and Torres Strait Islander cultures are highly diverse, it is important for health professionals to be respectful of intercultural variations, as well as individual choices.

It is also important to acknowledge that many Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people did not grow up with their families and community, or on their Island, and so did not have the influence of their heritage or knowledge of traditional and contemporary cultural ways. Recognising the many factors that were involved (covered in detail in Section 3 and 4) is imperative. For these individuals, while family experiences and beliefs will vary, life experiences will direct beliefs and needs for care.1
  1. PEPA Project Team, Cultural Considerations: Providing end-of-life care for Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 2020, Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach.