Australian Journal of Education

Article Title

Indigenous children in Australia : health, education and optimism for the future


In Australia, Indigenous children are disproportionately affected by poor health. The combined consequences of illness and social factors in this population have an adverse affect on educational outcomes for Indigenous children, resulting in lower levels of achievement and attainment compared with non-Indigenous children. From early childhood, infectious diseases are significantly more common among these children compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts and there are a number of risk factors that contribute to this burden of disease. Health and education are inextricably linked but, for the most part, the two sectors operate independently of each other in the provision of health and educational services. This article discusses the health and educational status of Indigenous children and describes a range of programs and initiatives from both sectors that aim to improve outcomes for this population.