A comprehensive analysis of well-being frameworks applied in Australia and their suitability for Indigenous peoples

Kamaljit K. Sangha, Yonatan Dinku, Robert Costanza, Anne Poelina

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Purpose: Well-being is a complex, multi-dimensional, dynamic, and evolving concept, covering social, economic, health, cultural and spiritual dimensions of human living, and often used synonymously with happiness, life satisfaction, prosperity, and quality of life. We review the existing key wellbeing frameworks applied in Australia both for the wider public and Indigenous peoples. The aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of various applied frameworks, along with a critical analysis of domains or dimensions comprising those frameworks, and to analyse the role of nature in those frameworks. 

Methodology: We conducted a critical analysis of the main frameworks applied in Australia to date to measure the well-being of the mainstream (mainly non-Indigenous) and Indigenous populations. This study is particularly timely given the Australian Government’s interest in revising the well-being frameworks as mentioned in the Government “Measuring What Matters” statement. 

Results: The existing well-being frameworks in Australia either overlook or hardly consider the role of nature and its services which are important to support human well-being. Likewise, for Indigenous peoples “Country” (Indigenous clan land) is vital for their well-being as their living is imbued with ”Country”. The role of nature/”Country” needs to be considered in revising the well-being frameworks, indicators and measures to inform and develop appropriate policies and programs in Australia.

Conclusion: To develop appropriate welfare policies and programs for achieving socio-economic and other wellbeing outcomes, it is essential to evolve and conceptualize wellbeing frameworks (and related indicators and measures) in line with people’s contemporary values, particularly considering the role of nature and its services.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2321646
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was conducted under a fellowship offered by the Australian Studies Institute, Australian National University, Canberra.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


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