Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people hold a special place in Australian society. They are descendent from the original inhabitants of this country and their traditional cultures are among the oldest surviving cultures on Earth.
Since the colonisation of Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been subjected to an evolving set of government policies which, in many instances has led to suffering and disadvantage for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Community Service providers need to be aware of and acknowledge this history so that they can fully understand the needs of their clients.
The training of community service workers to raise awareness of the history and the current circumstances of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is an important part of service providers becoming more inclusive in their service delivery.
As an organisation, community service providers should undertake measures to provide a service which is inclusive towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.
Cultural competency training
There are a number of online resources that can assist you with cultural competency training.
Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Home and Community Care Services best practice stories
Immigrant Womens Support Service (IWSS) can support staff development and provide training to meet the specific needs of your organisation in working with women from non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB), to ensure the development of ethical, sensitive and responsive practices.
Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT) aims to provide quality training and information on issues related to Refugees and Humanitarian entrants, the impact of trauma and torture and other related issues. The capacity to deliver the training will depend on current resources available, staff skill and interest. Community based services, community groups and Government agencies are all able to make requests by using the QPASTT.
You can undertake the free course An introduction to cultural integrity on the Community Door e-training website.
The Centre for Cultural Competence Australia offers foundation level knowledge in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Competence. The resource is available online and is accredited. Successful students will attain accreditation in Aboriginal Education.