Jacob Prehn – Being On Country: A Cultural Determinant of Health

Being On Country: A Cultural Determinant of Health

Jacob Prehn


There is insufficient evidence regarding the impact of on-Country health and wellbeing programs for Aboriginal men. This presentation argues that, for Aboriginal men, Country plays a pivotal role as a cultural determinant of health and wellbeing, contributing positively in a holistic manner. Interestingly, there is a scarcity of self-determined studies by Indigenous men exploring how on-Country health and wellbeing programs contribute to therapeutic outcomes, despite the natural world being a fundamental component of Aboriginal culture and identity. In Australia, the documented health and wellbeing disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations is significant. For Indigenous men, the intersection of ethnicity and gender results in some of the most adverse health outcomes among any group in Australia. This presentation uses data from semi-structured interviews with Aboriginal men to gain insights into how an on-Country program can enhance overall health and wellbeing. The results indicate four key benefits for Aboriginal men when engaging in a therapeutic program on their ancestral or communal lands. This study underscores the importance of holistic programs, including on-Country therapies, alongside primary healthcare, because they contribute to addressing cultural determinants of health and wellbeing.

About the presenter/s

Jacob Prehn (Worimi) is a sociologist and social work academic raised and living on Palawa Country. He is employed as the Associate Dean Indigenous for the College of Arts, Law and Education and as a senior lecturer in social work at the University of Tasmania. Jacob publishes frequently and currently has funded research projects on Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Governance, Indigenous families growing strong, and Indigenous men.