Oral Presentation Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference 2016

Sovereignty, health and power–Enacting transformative change (#76)

Gregory Phillips 1
  1. Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Enactment of self-determination is more strongly associated with improvements in Indigenous health outcomes than other variables such as funding, policy, workforce and socio-economic status (Harvard American Indian Project on Economic Development).

If nation-states such as Australia are to truly ‘close the gap’ in life expectancy and other health outcome measures between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, closer attention must be paid to self-determination and how it might be given optimal affect.

This presentation will draw on the author’s doctoral studies and recent advances in the scholarship of whiteness, racism, sovereignty and power as they relate to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. The paper will use case studies, theoretical analysis and public discourse analysis to unsettle the dynamics of power and power relations implicit in the Australian public health system.

How might national discourse, policy and governance unshackle themselves from neo-colonial presuppositions, and move towards a new transformative healing and power sharing reality?