The training program
The two-day ‘Cultural respect and safety – engaging respectfully with Aboriginal Australians’ workshop’ has been delivered across a broad range of sectors in all jurisdictions of Australia (it is not cultural awareness training). It extends and enhances participants’ ability to:
- identify, understand and respond to racism, including institutional racism
- recognise and understand how dominant culture and whiteness impact on experiences, opportunities and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians
- appreciate the impact of colonisation and dispossession for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, including the historical and ongoing effects in their everyday lives
- support and implement initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians as part of their work roles
“They have opened my eyes that this isn’t about learning about ‘Aboriginal culture’, but understanding my own power and privilege as a member of the dominant white culture, and how this stands in the way of Aboriginal Australians leading an equally opportunity-filled and rich life.” (Workshop participant)
“This has been the most valuable training I’ve ever done in terms of invoking an internal shift within myself to my ethics of living and being in the world. I’m hoping to do it justice when I am working ongoing within the service and in my personal life.” (Workshop participant)
A reflection by two participants about their experience of the workshop was published in the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal in September 2014. The National Indigenous Times September 2014 edition also included an article on one of our Canberra-based workshops, including interviews with the commissioning organisation, workshop participants and facilitators.
Facilitating organisational cultural change
Kathleen and Sharon can assist organisations to plan, implement and evaluate organisational cultural change processes, as well as develop Reconciliation Action Plans and set up monitoring processes. This has occurred for a variety of organisations, such as the: Barossa Hills Fleurieu Regional Health Services (South Australia); Child, Youth and Women’s Health Service (South Australia); and the National Native Title Tribunal (national).
“The information was empowering but humbling…How we were confronted as white people, we have unearned privilege…It is a journey for us, and of partnership…We commit to continuing on the journey we have begun – honest, recognising ‘small steps’, challenging others and the status quo, calling racism for what it is.” (Workshop group feedback, Australian Government organisation)
“It has changed my entire perspective on racism and white privilege, which will translate into my personal and professional life.” (Workshop participant)