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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1478; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071478

Associations between Participation in a Ranger Program and Health and Wellbeing Outcomes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in Central Australia: A Proof of Concept Study

1
National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Research School of Population Health, Australian National University, Acton ACT 2601, Australia
2
The Central Land Council, 27 Stuart Highway, Alice Springs NT 0870, Australia
3
Tangentyere Research Hub, 4 Elder Street, Alice Springs NT 0871, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 12 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Health and Wellbeing)
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Abstract

Culture can be viewed as an integral part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing. This study explores the association between caring for country, through participation in a Ranger program, and wellbeing. We analyzed cross-sectional data collected in Central Australia in 2017, comparing health and wellbeing (life satisfaction, general health, psychological wellbeing and family wellbeing) among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples employed as Rangers (n = 43) versus not employed as Rangers (n = 160). We tested if any differences in outcomes were explained by differences in key demographic or health factors. Ranger participation was significantly associated with very high life satisfaction (PR = 1.69, 95% CI: 1.29, 2.20) and high family wellbeing (PR = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.13, 1.90); associations remained significant after individual adjustment for education, income, employment, health risk factors and health conditions. The magnitude and direction of associations were similar for very good general health, but results were not significant. We did not identify an association between Ranger participation and psychological wellbeing. While based on a small sample, these findings support the assertion that participation in the Ranger program is associated with positive health and wellbeing outcomes. This supports the continuation of cultural participation and practice through the Ranger program and has implications for funding, program and policy development. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ranger; culture; wellbeing; Indigenous; Aboriginal; Torres Strait Islander; land management Ranger; culture; wellbeing; Indigenous; Aboriginal; Torres Strait Islander; land management
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Jones, R.; Thurber, K.A.; Wright, A.; Chapman, J.; Donohoe, P.; Davis, V.; Lovett, R. Associations between Participation in a Ranger Program and Health and Wellbeing Outcomes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in Central Australia: A Proof of Concept Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1478.

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