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Australians generally enjoy good health.  However, good health is not shared equally. There are significant differences in the health of different populations of Australians, including differences in rates of death and disease, life expectancy, self perceived health, health behaviours, health risk factors and health service utilisation (Public Health Association of Australia, 2008). These ‘health inequities’ are associated with differences in education, occupation, income, employment status, rurality, ethnicity, Aboriginality and gender.

Health equity in Australia with a focus on culturally diverse populations – a summary article provides a summary of Australian health data, and where available, Queensland health data.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_info_table color_scheme=”blue” package_heading=”WELLNESS ” heading_font_color=”#ffffff”][/ultimate_info_table][vc_column_text]

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Globally millions of people have embraced wellness to improve their health and wellbeing. The need for wellness has expanded due to declining health trends, particularly the rising obesity and chronic disease rates.  While wellness and disease prevention are the only viable solutions, wellness services are by and large out of reach of socially disadvantaged groups.

The World Health Organisation defines wellness as the optimal state of health of individuals and groups.  There are two focal concerns: the realisation of the fullest potential of an individual’s physical, psychological, social, spiritual and economical dimensions, and the fulfilment of one’s role expectations in the family, community, place of worship, workplace and other settings (Smith, Tang, & Nutbeam, 2006).

Wellness is a modern concept with ancient roots. Tenets of wellness (the idea that physical, mental and spiritual health work in harmony) have their origins in ancient healing and medical traditions that date back thousands of years.  Ancient cultures of Africa, India, China, Greece, Rome and Pacific Islands Nations (among others) had sophisticated ways of understanding health and staying healthy emphasising the whole person. The concept of wellness appears to have come full circle.  As a modern concept it is driven by three major trends resulting in a paradigm shift from reactivity (treating or fixing the problem) towards a more proactive and holistic  way of taking care of ourselves: ageing population, dissatisfaction with current health and medical systems and, globalisation and connections (SRI International, 2010).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_info_table color_scheme=”blue” package_heading=”SOCIAL JUSTICE ” heading_font_color=”#ffffff”][/ultimate_info_table][vc_column_text]

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According to the World Health Organisation, ‘social injustice is killing people on a grand scale’. This is particularly true for the poorest countries, but it is also true for rich countries like Australia where health and illness follows a social gradient: the lower the socioeconomic position, the lower the health status. WWG is committed to social justice and health equity for all with a particular focus on people from CALD backgrounds in Australia and economically and socially disadvantaged communities overseas, particularly those communities that have strong links and connections to Australia.

Internationally, health equity shapes the programs and policies of the World Health Organisation.  In Australia, health equity, while articulated in many policy documents, is not commonly reflected in health service delivery, with the exception of the much needed Close the Gap initiative.  World Wellness Group stands in support of programs that work for health equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and recognises that  models of ownership, management and implementation with and by Indigenous people are essential.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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