Reflective Essay On Mental Health And Stigma University Reflective Essay

1576 words - 7 pages

• Reflect on the role that the colonisation of Australia has played, and continues to play, in the discrepancies between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.
I am Australian. I am Arab. I am Muslim. I am considered a non-aboriginal. Above all, though, I am
human. I was welcomed to Australia when I was 2 years old. When I was 5, I was awarded with a
citizenship. The same year, an aboriginal man robbed my family and I, and stole our goods and
money. When we told fellow members of the Australian (non-aboriginal) community, they responded
with many vulgar comments and one that to this day stands out to me was: “Yeah mate, just be careful
from those mobs, they’re dangerous, sayin’ it’s their land an’ all, ungrateful bastards.” My parents
taught us to stay away from these ‘mobs’. Such negative stereotypes are a primary cause of the social,
economic and cultural disadvantages of aboriginal people. They are often judged as being ‘less than’
from the get-go, thereby keeping them from having the same access to opportunities as the rest of us
(Clarke, 2019).
Of course, any accounting of the current predicament of Aboriginal people is incomplete without
considering the horrifying history of the oppressive colonisation of Australia, and its long-term
consequences for the community. The brutal means of the colonisation of Australia changed the lives
of Aboriginal people forever, and to this day, they have not fully recovered. As a result of
colonisation, their well-being was jeopardised, with no education or a means of freedom, with no
property and no prosperity (Clarke, 2019). With the past as it was, they have had to struggle even in
their present.
The discrepancy in the lifestyle and treatment of aboriginals and Non-Aboriginals is a predecessor to
many other injustices. As I reflect on their heartbreaking history, it angers me, that aboriginals were
treated unfairly. Their pride for their land was obliterated. I can understand this because as a refugee, I
was deprived of growing in my homeland freely. They were stripped of their identities, forced to
change their names and their privileges were purloined. In fact, they are the “stolen generation”. They
were bounded and hounded to respond silently to their colonisers’ demands. Over 20,000 were
massacred due to colonial violence (Clarke, 2019). Slavery and labour became their life style (Clarke,
2019). They lost a sense of where they belonged, they forgot the roots of where they came from. Two
centuries have passed since the colonisation of Australia began and, yet, to this day, aboriginals are
treated as being subpar.
Another area where Aboriginals are at a significant disadvantage compared to non-Aboriginals is in
their standard of health. Aboriginals have approximately a 10-year lower life expectancy than non-
aboriginals (Houston & Legge, 2010). Even as an Arab Australia, I have distinct advantage over
Aboriginals and this inequality distresses me. As a non-aboriginal, I am at an advantage...

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