Determinants of health

The health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is affected by a complex interaction of environmental factors, behaviours, biological factors and the social and cultural context that shapes their lives. These factors are called the ‘determinants of health’, and they can be barriers or enablers to health and wellbeing. The determinants of health include:

  • environmental health: water supply, housing and infrastructure, waste management, food safety, caring for country, personal hygiene, communicable diseases, animal management and emergency management
  • social and cultural determinants: education, employment and economic development, home ownership, tenancy and homelessness, and cultural and historical factors like racism, discrimination and colonialism
  • community capacity: strong communities, family safety, child protection, justice, governance, transport and digital services
  • health behaviours: healthy eating, physical activity, smoking and immunisation.
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