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Strong family life and involvement with the wider community are important for the functioning of any society. Indicators of these from the 2002 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) include participation in social activities and voluntary work, availability of community support, and the presence of stressors.
Source: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, Queensland, 2002, cat. no. 4714.3.55.001
Participation in social or community activities
In 2002, more than 9 out of 10 Indigenous people reported that they had been involved in social activities in the last three months. One half had participated in sport or physical recreation activities in the last 12 months and 29% had undertaken voluntary work in the last 12 months. Participation in both social activities and physical recreation declined with age while voluntary work was more common amongst those aged over 25 years.
Support in times of crisis
A large majority of Indigenous people (91%) reported that, in a time of crisis, they could get support from outside their household. There was little difference in this figure by sex, by age groups or whether they lived in remote or non-remote areas. Those living in households with higher income were more likely to report positively to this question. (If households are ranked according to equivalised gross household income, 95% of people in households in the 3rd to 5th quintiles felt they could get support, compared to 89% of those in the 1st and 2nd quintile households). (See tables 3 and 9 in the data cube 4714.3.55.001 - charges apply).
Stressors experienced in the last 12 months
The majority (86%) of Indigenous people reported that they had experienced at least one stressor in the last 12 months. The most frequently reported stressors were the death of a family member or close friend (49%), serious illness or disability (34%) and inability to get a job (31%).
Those living in remote areas were slightly more likely than those living in non-remote areas to report experiencing a stressor (90% compared with 85%). The most frequently reported stressors of those living in remote areas were the death of a family member or close friend (63%), overcrowding at home (54%) and alcohol and drug-related problems (52%).
REPORTED STRESSORS IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS(a), Indigenous persons aged 15 years or over, Queensland, 2002
Removal from natural family
To measure the number of Indigenous people potentially impacted by the removal of children from their families, the 2002 NATSISS asked Indigenous people aged 15 years or over whether they or any of their relatives had been removed from their natural families. About 7% of Indigenous people reported that they themselves had been removed from their natural family. In addition, 40% reported that they had relatives who, as a child, had been removed from their natural family, while 45% reported they had no relatives removed.
Indigenous people living in non-remote areas were more likely to either have been removed or had relatives removed from their natural family (45% of people in non-remote areas compared to 31% of those in remote areas).
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