Issues addressed: The socio-economic disadvantage and ill-health experienced by Indigenous Australians has continued at alarming rates despite increased research into Indigenous health and the burdens faced by Indigenous peoples. Given the state of ill-health in Indigenous communities, there is increasing recognition of the need for greater understanding of Indigenous health needs and means by which to deal with them.
Method: This exploratory research study was designed to assess the meaning of Indigenous Australians’ ‘wellbeing’ and ‘spirituality’, and the possible connection between these concepts. The study explored these concepts through a series of semi-structured interviews in an Indigenous community of north-eastern New South Wales.
Results: The research participants consistently described well-being as an all-encompassing and holistic concept. Findings showed that spirituality still occupied a crucial role in Indigenous culture and well-being, despite the challenges to its existence since European invasion.
Conclusion: It is evident that the support of Indigenous spirituality, community cohesion and identity will be beneficial, if not essential to the promotion of health and well-being among Australia’s Indigenous peoples. The acknowledgement of spirituality as a significant factor in well-being has many implications for diverse fields and practices of health.
Key words: Aboriginal culture, spirituality, well-being, health promotion, holistic, family and community, identity.