Experiences of Older Aboriginal People in Navigating Transport Systems in an Urban Setting: An Indigenous Perspective on Transport Access, a Social Determinant of Health

Publication Name

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


Background: In Australia, Aboriginal people are underserved by the transport system and are less able to easily get to places they need to go than others. This is a part of a larger pattern of exclusion and inequity for Aboriginal people which affects their health, wellbeing, and social participation. Guided by a decolonising framework, this research explored how older Aboriginal people, whose pivotal roles in their families and communities require their mobility, experience the transportation system, providing an Indigenous-centred view of the accessibility of transportation options in society. Methods: Interviews drawing from the yarning technique were conducted with ten older Aboriginal people living in Greater Western Sydney and analysed qualitatively. Results: In addition to the cognitive labour required to decipher the rules of the transport system and organise commitments to match the scheduling of transport services, older Aboriginal people in this study experienced stigmatising attitudes and condescending treatment from service professionals and the public when traveling. Conclusions: This study suggests three potential ways that the current trajectory that underserves older Aboriginal people could be disrupted, relating to service design, the diversity and inclusion agenda, and the social determinants of Indigenous health.

Open Access Status

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Article Number


Funding Sponsor

University of New South Wales



Link to publisher version (DOI)