School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Public Health Perspectives of Indigenous Health (PHCM9630)

image - Public Health Perspectives of Indigenous Health

Description

This course will introduce students to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health through the lens of public health. Ten major topic areas will be examined. These include understanding the historical context of Indigenous health, Indigenous research ethics, Indigenous health data and the role of health information within primary health care, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community control in primary health care and the right to self-determination and to health, understanding key health issues and challenges, social and environmental risk factors, prevention and management approaches to health improvement across the life span, the policy context of Indigenous health and the role of activism.

Credit points

This elective course comprises 6 units of credit towards the total required for completion of programs offered by the School. It is also a stream defining course of the Masters of Public Health in Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing.

Mode of study

External (Distance) with optional 2 day attendance at Residential School.

Course aim

The aim of the course is to extend your knowledge by providing examples of evidence based research and health practice that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health and wellbeing. PHCM9630 offers the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the physical, psychosocial, cultural and other determinants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health and to enable your work, not only with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, but with all populations you encounter. Throughout this course, Muru Marri facilitates the development of an experiential learning community that encourages your interest in Indigenous health and wellbeing towards developing a professional commitment in the field.

Course Outcomes

On completion of this course you should be able to:

  • Explain the impacts of colonialism and government policies on patterns of health and disease, determinants of health and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.
  • Explain epidemiological transitions and demographic characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, including multi-morbidities and shared risk factors, and compare these to non-Indigenous populations.
  • Critique a diverse range of health promotion, primary health care and human rights strategies and principles designed to improve health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, and their implementation in diverse settings.
  • Interpret the measurement and effectiveness of strategies implemented to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, analysing for example: research design and implementation, ethical issues, research translation and accountability, capacity building and economic efficiency.
  • Critically reflect on your own culture, beliefs and attitudes, life experience, professional practice and interrelationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Learning and teaching rationale

This course incorporates a student centred, blended learning approach, informed by Indigenous pedagogies. The optional two day workshop is its centre piece, laying the foundations of a collaborative learning community. For those who are unable to attend the face-to-face workshop, there will an alternate online component for you to complete.  This will include webinar sessions in Weeks 1, 2 and 3 which we STRONGLY recommend you attend. Details are available on the Moodle site.

Assessment

Assessment Task 1 - Critical reflection
Weighting: 20%
Length: 1500 words

Assessment Task 2 - Investigative report
Weighting: 45%
Length: 2500-3000 words

Assessment Task 3 - Online group discussion and individual task: Scenario planning - Closing the gap
Weighting: 15% (online); 20% (individual)
Length: 200 words (online); 2000 words (individual task)

Readings and resources
Learning resources for this course consist of the following:
  1. Course notes and readings - available for purchase from UNSW Bookshop and to download from Moodle
  2. Workshop content
  3. Recommended resources
  4. Supplementary resources such as videos, podcasts (available in Moodle)
Recommended resources
PHCM9630 does not have a text book. However, we do recommend you try to view the following recommended readings, which are available in UNSW Library.
  • Couzos, S., & Murray, R. (Eds.). (2008). Aboriginal primary health care: An evidence-based approach (3rd Ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
  • Carson, B., Dunbar, T., Chenhall, R.D., & Baillie, R. (Eds.). (2007). Social determinants of Indigenous health. Melbourne: Allen & Unwin.
  • Thomson, N. (Ed.). (2003). The health of Indigenous Australians. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.