Effects of Colonization on Aboriginal Peoples in Darwin, Australia

Aboriginal Cultures and Communities: The Impact of Colonization

Before colonization, Aborigines lived in small family groups associated with larger language groups with specific geographical boundaries. They had sophisticated social norms of family processes and interactions (Resources et al., 2019). They were responsible for education, law, resource management, customs, languages ​​and traditions and had extensive knowledge of the local area. Their culture was developed and strong, Aboriginal communities exercised self-government, children were protected and nurtured. The purpose of this article is to shed light on the impact of colonization on Aboriginal peoples. Also, through case studies, the importance of Aboriginal culture, protective and risk factors in Aboriginal mental health, and various actions taken to improve the situation and well-being of disadvantaged Aboriginal people in Darwin, Australia. will also discuss.

Aboriginal cultures and communities were devastated by European colonization. Under the guise of protection, Aborigines have been subjected to a variety of abuses. These include genocide, evacuation from ancestral territories, and resettlement to protected areas and mission sites (Resources et al., 2019). Cultural activities were prohibited. Colonization brought violence, slaughter, casualties and disease to the Aborigines. Despite the effects of past and present colonization, Aboriginal kinship structures, traditions and customs have survived and Aboriginal individuals, communities and families are brave and strong.

The Lost or Storen Generations are a group of Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people who were abducted from their communities and families at an early age (Lydon & Oxenham, 2021). Governments, social institutions, and churches removed children from their homes and placed them in foster homes, institutions, or white families. Aboriginal children have been forced from their homes since the British colonized Australia. It has destroyed important spiritual, cultural and family ties and has had long-lasting and transgenerational impacts on the lives and well-being of Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal peoples. Families and survivors of displaced generations suffer worse than other Australians who have not been resettled.

Aborigines have several ethnic groups and cultures. Aboriginal culture is present and thriving in a wide range of Australian communities. People can build knowledge and respect for diversity by learning about the customs and stories of Torres Strait Islander and Aborigines (Murray-Jones, 2021). It provides individuals with a comprehensive understanding of Australia’s past. A generation robbed affects those who were forcibly displaced as young people, their relatives, parents and descendants.

The population suffers from anxiety, high rates of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicide. They also suffer from socioeconomic impacts and declining health conditions. Therefore, it is important to learn about Aboriginal culture when working with consumers, as knowledge of backgrounds, cultures and ethnic groups contributes to social reconciliation. The case study location is Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Aborigines are the world’s oldest surviving civilization. The diversity of languages ​​and cultures is vast and the Australian land is rich in beliefs and traditions. Darwin’s galleries display Aboriginal art. Sculpture, pointillism, and pottery are art forms that people have used for decades. Techniques are passed down from generation to generation. Aboriginal people have a strong relationship with the land they live in, and see it as more than just dirt, it breathes (Darwintour.com.au, 2022).

A Stolen Generation: Historical Trauma and Long-Term Impact

Although concerns such as jobs, housing and education affect everyone, Torres Strait Islanders and Indigenous Peoples face specific risk and protection variables that have significant implications for depression rates and social welfare. increase. Protective elements make people feel powerful and robust. For Aborigines, this can include social ties, a sense of connection to culture, land, and ancestry, as well as living near ancestral lands and exercising self-determination. A strong community manages the transmission of cultural practices. Risk factors affecting Aboriginal social welfare include cultural and racial discrimination, disadvantage of social and economic status, violence, unresolved trauma and substance abuse (Smallwood et al. 2021).

Supporting those participating in case studies is critical to identifying appropriate supports and interventions to improve individual health and well-being. Promotion, prevention and early treatment are the most effective means of improving people’s well-being and health. Screening tools enable more efficient medical pathways long before health problems develop or worsen. Tailoring and initiating health interventions to specific health-related factors enables more individualized care (Colizzi, Lasalvia & Ruggeri, 2020). Kira, Maari and Yaran are tired and malnourished. My daughter has mental health issues and all three have depression. Support groups help overcome mental illness and in some ways improve cognitive and emotional well-being (Bendig et al., 2021).

Support groups by their very nature help minimize the cost of mental health care, and integrating support groups into the mental health system can benefit all three. Mutual aid can help in this case. It is defined as emotional, social, or instrumental help provided by people, often with mental health problems, by agreeing on what will help (Fortuna et al. ., 2020). Now that Kira has moved out of her husband’s home, it’s important to help them live safely and strategize. Maali and Yaran are young people at risk of homelessness. Developing young people’s social connections and skills and providing information, support and professional services are important. Kira and her children are malnourished. Therefore, it is important to provide a consistent and reliable diet. Staff and volunteers from the CAAPS Homeless Assistance Support (HOS) program provide meals to the homeless.

It is important to educate people about additional services and resources that can help them find stable housing and get their lives back on track. By individually matching homeless people with volunteers, providing training and educational assistance, and teaching first aid skills, we help homeless people build relationships and community connections. New relationships and skills can make a big difference in an individual’s life and help break the cycle of homelessness. It is important to provide people with showers, free hot meals, first aid and hygiene products in safe areas away from the street (Tambahani, 2019). Therefore, it is important to create a welcoming environment where people at risk of homelessness can receive support and free meals. The main objective should therefore be to help vulnerable people live safely and develop exit strategies.

Learning About And Respecting Aboriginal Culture

I worked with Kira’s family, but her daughter Marli revealed that she was lonely and sad and that the counseling she received for mental health issues had not worked. After seeking advice from the manager, I concluded that other options would help improve Mari’s health. People with mental illness are more likely than the general population to engage in avoidable risk behaviors because of their chronic illness. Community mental health professionals are typically not concerned with minimizing such risks (Bartlem et al., 2015). Consumer movement or survival movement (CSI) has been shown to contribute to self-determination, social support, psychological well-being, identity transformation, self-management, and improved quality of life. Another intervention that can be an alternative to counseling is psychiatric rehabilitation (Vita & Barlati, 2019).

It is a form of therapy that focuses on restoring a person’s ability to perform at their best and achieve their goals in life. This is usually done by providing psychological, medical and social support. Rehabilitation aims to assist patients in developing the cognitive and social skills necessary to integrate into mainstream society (Philips et al., 2020). It allows individuals to gain status. Rehabilitation benefits patients by providing opportunities and avoiding discrimination and stigma. It is an effective treatment aimed at improving the mental health and lives of those affected. It helps people to live independently in society. Mari will benefit greatly from psychiatric rehabilitation.

Compared with the general population, homeless people have a higher risk of trauma, mental illness, suicide and related complications, and a shorter life expectancy. Family conflict, neglect and child abuse are common causes of homeless young children (Wang et al., 2019). In this case study, Kira had to leave her husband’s home because of her five years of domestic violence. It seriously affected her and her children’s mental health.

Psychotherapy may be a good option for treating Mari. Experienced psychologists offer psychotherapy as a therapeutic intervention for people with mental illness. The aim of psychotherapy is to enhance a person’s well-being through the exploration of ideas, actions and emotions (Fava & Guidi, 2020). The most effective strategy to promote recovery is a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Medications can help relieve symptoms. These interventions help Maali manage depression and anxiety and improve her overall health and well-being.


It can therefore be concluded from the above discussion that European colonization had a profound impact on the lives of Aborigines in the Darwin region of Australia. Colonization brought violence and genocide to Aborigines. A generation lost. Children are being displaced from their homes and relocated far from their families. Aborigines have lost their ancestral land. Their culture was greatly damaged by European colonization. It had long-term effects on survivors. The people in this case scenario are Aboriginal people living in Darwin who are suffering from severe mental health problems due to family conflicts. Children were badly hit. The CAAPS Homeless Assistance Assistance Program helps families secure and maintain secure housing and access popular agencies to improve people’s conditions. Several interventions have been suggested to improve their condition. Maari is a young woman who needs help with her mental health issues. This article discusses some strategies that can help Mari live a better life.


Bartlem, K. M., Bowman, J., Freund, M., Wye, P. M., Barker, D., McElwaine, K. M., … & Wiggers, J. (2015). Effectiveness of an intervention in increasing the provision of preventive care by community mental health services: a non-randomized, multiple baseline implementation trial. Implementation Science, 11(1), 1-12. https://implementationscience.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13012-016-0408-4

Bendig, E., Meißner, D., Erb, B., Weger, L., Küchler, A. M., Bauereiss, N., … & Baumeister, H. (2021). Study protocol of a randomised controlled trial on SISU, a software agent providing a brief self-help intervention for adults with low psychological well-being. BMJ open, 11(2), e041573. https://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-041573

Colizzi, M., Lasalvia, A., & Ruggeri, M. (2020). Prevention and early intervention in youth mental health: is it time for a multidisciplinary and trans-diagnostic model for care?. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 14(1), 1-14. https://ijmhs.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13033-020-00356-9

Darwintour.com.au. (2022). Why the Aboriginal Culture in Darwin, Northern Territory is so significant. Darwin Tours. Retrieved 9 April 2022, from https://darwintour.com.au/blog/why-the-aboriginal-culture-in-darwin-northern-territory-is-so-significant/#:~:text=They%20are%20the%20oldest%20continuous,spiritual%20landmarks%20of%20the%20land.

Fava, G. A., & Guidi, J. (2020). The pursuit of euthymia. World Psychiatry, 19(1), 40-50. https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20698

Fortuna, K. L., Naslund, J. A., LaCroix, J. M., Bianco, C. L., Brooks, J. M., Zisman-Ilani, Y., … & Deegan, P. (2020). Digital peer support mental health interventions for people with a lived experience of a serious mental illness: systematic review. JMIR mental health, 7(4), e16460. https://doi.org/10.2196/16460

Lydon, J., & Oxenham, D. (2021). ‘The Best Day for Me, Looking at These Old Photos’: Returning Photographs to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. In Adjusting the Lens: Indigenous Activism, Colonial Legacies, and Photographic Heritage. University of British Columbia Press. https://api.research-repository.uwa.edu.au/ws/portalfiles/portal/151235374/Open_Access_Lydon_Oxenham.pdf

Murray-Jones, J. (2021). Positive Outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education and the Visual Arts. In Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: The Context of Being, Interculturality and New Knowledge Systems. Emerald Publishing Limited. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/978-1-80043-006-820211016/full/html

Phillips, M., Turner-Stokes, L., Wade, D., & Walton, K. (2020). Rehabilitation in the wake of Covid-19-a Phoenix from the ashes. British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1(2), 1-20. https://www.bsrm.org.uk/downloads/covid-19bsrmissue1-published-27-4-2020.pdf

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Tambahani, B. K. (2019). Working with young homeless people for change. https://dspace.cuni.cz/handle/20.500.11956/105531

Vita, A., & Barlati, S. (2019). The implementation of evidence-based psychiatric rehabilitation: challenges and opportunities for mental health services. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10, 147. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00147

Wang, J. Z., Mott, S., Magwood, O., Mathew, C., Mclellan, A., Kpade, V., … & Andermann, A. (2019). The impact of interventions for youth experiencing homelessness on housing, mental health, substance use, and family cohesion: a systematic review. BMC public health, 19(1), 1-22. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12889-019-7856-0

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