Australia is culturally diverse, with more than half (52.2%) of the population born overseas or having at least one parent born overseas.1 Since 2005, migration has been the main driver of Australia’s population growth, contributing approximately 60% of overall growth.1 While historically the bulk of Australia’s overseasborn population comprised migrants from Anglo-Celtic descent, the dismantling of the White Australia Policy four decades ago heralded a new era of more inclusive migration policies. This saw a sustained rise in the proportion of migrants to Australia from non-English speaking countries.2 The combination of Indigenous populations and the long history of immigration has created a culturally rich and diverse Australia.2 The growth in migrants and refugees, many of whom have been displaced due to conflict and persecution, has fuelled debate about the preparedness of plural societies like Australia for the challenges associated with such cultural diversity. One challenge is health system responsiveness; specifically, health systems must be responsive to the social, economic and cultural factors underpinning disparities in health for patients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. With international migration continuing to rise, it is timely to consider whether Australian health professionals, including physiotherapists, are equipped to deliver culturally responsive healthcare.
- Culturally responsive healthcare
- culturally responsive practice