Extensive literature and research has proven that inequalities in health stem from inequalities in society. With this in mind, similar literature has widely demonstrated how these inequalities affect Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders to result in an average life expectancy 17 years below that of white Australians. There are a multitude of factors at play in rural populations and most of these rely heavily on the social determinants of health which could be described very broadly as opportunities for education and skills development, employment and working conditions, and establishing sustainable communities.
WACRH believes that it is possible to implement the underlying changes required to make positive differences in people’s lives. A multi-pronged approach guides WACRH’s operations to address the key determinants of social inequalities in health faced by Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders living in rural Western Australia. This approach is shaped by WACRH’s research, community capacity building initiatives, education programs and opportunities for health undergraduates to gain unique life-changing experiences in communities from the bush.
Decreasing health disparities faced by Aboriginal populations underpins most of WACRH’s activities.