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Making Big Business Everybody’s Business: Aboriginal leaders’ perspectives on commercial activities influencing aboriginal health in Victoria, Australia

Abstract Background The commercial determinants of health is a rapidly expanding field of research; however Indigenous perspectives remain notably underrepresented. For Indigenous peoples the intersection of globalisation, colonialism and capitalism may amplify commercially-driven health inequities. This study aimed to explore the perspectives of Aboriginal leaders regarding the influence of commercial activities on Aboriginal health and wellbeing in Victoria, Australia. Methods Semi-structured interviews with 23 Aboriginal leaders from across five sectors (n = 15 urban, n = 8 rural/regional) were analysed through reflexive thematic analysis. Results Three overarching themes were identified encompassing (i) harmful commercial practices and processes, (ii) improving corporate engagement and (iii) opportunities for self-determination through business. Participants expressed concern over aggressive marketing by the gambling industry, commercial exploitation of Aboriginal culture, the privatisation of public services, and lack of oversignt of corporate social responsibility strategies. Simultaneously, Aboriginal-led businesses were viewed as opportunities for cultural connection, and financial empowerment and self-determination. Conclusion Numerous commercial entities and activities are perceived to influence Aboriginal health and wellbeing. This study highlights the need for stronger policy and regulation to mitigate harmful industry practices while incentivising the potential positive impacts of the commercial activities on Aboriginal health and wellbeing.

History

Journal

Globalization and Health

Volume

20

Article number

33

Pagination

1-15

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

1744-8603

eISSN

1744-8603

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

1

Publisher

BMC