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Binang gurri: turning a deaf ear to indigenous hearing loss

de Plevitz, Loretta (2010) Binang gurri: turning a deaf ear to indigenous hearing loss. Australian indigenous health bulletin, 10(3), pp. 1-13.

Abstract

Objective: This paper asks whether Indigenous health policies might be improved if governments listened to Indigenous voices, both Australian and those who drafted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007. Methods: A fundamental tenet of the Declaration, which Australia endorsed in 2009, is respect for Indigenous knowledge and voice. The author analyses legal, cultural and historical sources for evidence of this respect. The metaphorical and empirical framework of the analysis is the epidemic of otitis media among Indigenous children. Results: A survey of Indigenous advice about health clearly demonstrates that access to their land and respect for the diversity of Indigenous cultures should inform health policies. Despite, however, claiming to consult Indigenous peoples, policy-makers have not been listening. In many Indigenous languages not listening, or ‘bad ears’, has connotations of disrespect. Conclusions: By turning a deaf ear to Indigenous knowledge governments are undermining any respect Indigenous peoples may have for them and their policies. A new approach is needed. Implications: The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples can provide federal, state and territory governments with benchmarks against which health policy can be developed and implemented. Authentic consultation could restore Indigenous confidence in government policies.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 44661
Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 1445-7253
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (111701)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (160500) > Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy (160501)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law (180101)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Deposited On: 25 Aug 2011 08:13
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 00:18

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