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Catalyst injury management cultural awareness training
CATALYST INJURYMANAGEMENT Cultural Awareness Training
“ACKNOWLEDGEMENT” SPEECH “I would like to respectfully acknowledge the Local Aboriginal people who are theTraditional owners and custodians of the land on which this meeting takes place.”
The Purpose of this “Cultural Awareness Training” The purpose of this brief Cultural Awareness session is to provide staff at Catalyst with awareness and understanding of the Indigenous culture. As we are getting more Indigenous clients at Catalyst, we would like staff to have a brief understanding of the Indigenous Culture, so we can work together to Engage more effectively with our Indigenous clients and have respect for the Indigenous culture.
WHO ARE“INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS” The term “Indigenous Australians” includes two separate groups of people, the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, that together make up about 2.5% of Australia’s population. Aboriginals are indigenous inhabitants of mainland Australia and Tasmania. Torres Strait Islanders are Indigenous to the Torres Strait Islands, which are at the northern- most tip of Queensland near Papua New Guinea.
ABORGINAL FLAG The Aboriginal Flag is made up of three sections, black, yellow and red; Black – represents the Aboriginal people of Australia; Yellow – represents the sun, giver of life and protector, and Red – represents the red earth, the red ochre used in ceremonies and Aboriginal peoples’ spiritual relation to the land
TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERFLAG The Torres Strait Islander flag has three horizontal panels, a white dhari which means (traditional headdress) sits in the centre with a five – pointed white star beneath it. Green – represents the land Black – represents the Indigenous peoples Blue – represents the sea
ABORIGINAL IDENTITY Some Aboriginals will identify there selves to which area of Australia they come from; For Example : Koori – refers to Aboriginal people from NSW and Southern Queensland Koorie – refers to Aboriginal people from Victoria Noonga – refers to Aboriginal people from West Australia
ABORIGINAL IDENTITY – (CONT.) Nunga – refers to Aboriginal people from South Australia Palawa – refers to people from Tasmania Murri – refers to Aboriginal people from Queensland and north-west NSW(* Torres Strait Islanders don’t identify with the term Murri)
IMPORTANT FACTORS FOR STAFF TO REMEMBER WHEN IDENTIFYING It is always important when using the terms “Aboriginal” , “Torres Strait Islander” and “Indigenous” that it is written with a Capital, just like any other cultural term. Aboriginal people should never be referred to as “aborigines”. This is a generic term for the original inhabitant of any country. You should also never refer to someone as “ATSI” .
INDIGENOUS PROTOCOLS WHENENGAGING WITH INDIGENOUS CLIENTS There are a lot of different views about what protocols should be used when dealing and engaging with Aboriginal people. Some protocols to remember are;
COMMUNICATION PROTOCOLS When liaising with an Indigenous client there Aboriginal English may be difficult to understand at first. So listen closely and make sure you speak in a clear manner. Don’t assume that you are doing an Aboriginal person a favour by mimicking there language or speech patterns. This is very offensive; Be sensitive about non-verbal communication cues, which are often a natural part of Aboriginal communication patterns. For instance, the use of silence does not mean that the Aboriginal person does not understand. They may be listening, thinking or remaining non-committal. Long periods of silence and thought are common when engaging with Indigenous Clients.
COMMUNICATION PROTOCOLS (CONT.) In some Aboriginal cultures, it is considered rude or disrespectful to look someone straight in the eye. If an Aboriginal person does not want to make eye contact with you, this does not necessarily mean that they are lying or are being rude. If an Aboriginal person is comfortable with eye contact that is fine but if not then notice and respect this. Also, pointing at an Indigenous person when trying to emphasis something should be avoided.
MEN’S AND WOMEN’S BUSINESS In Aboriginal culture certain customs and practices are performed by men and women separately, often referred to as Men’s and Women’s Business. This practices have very strict regulations attached and penalties for breaking this rules can be severe. When engaging with an Indigenous client, you should ask them if they would preferable like to “Speak to a Man for Men’s Business” & “Speak to a Woman for Women’s Business”; E.g. If an Indigenous client at Catalyst has to go for a Job Capacity Assessment or anything medical related, it is important for Catalyst staff to remember to ask them if they dont mind sharing information with a Men or Women.
SORRY BUSINESS Many Aboriginal people use the word business in a distinct way, to mean matters. Funeral and mourning practices are commonly known as Sorry Business. In many Aboriginal communities there is a prohibition on naming someone who is deceased, which may last for months or even years. When this occurs, a different name is used to refer to the person who has passed away. Generally, the face of the person who has died should not be shown without warning, particularly to their own communities. You should always check with the local Aboriginal community before displaying or broadcasting names or images of deceased people.
RESPECTING ABORIGINAL FAMILY STRUCTURES AND ROLESThere are differences in Aboriginal family structures and roles of members to non-Aboriginal families which need to be understood and respected when delivering services. The title uncle, aunty, sister, brother is used for all biological relatives and also used as a respectful title for friends, family, older people and sometimes, new acquaintances. It is not just restricted to biological relationships as in many non-Aboriginal cultures. Close and distant cousins have the same status as brothers and sisters. Aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, in-laws and grandparents will often include other people’s children in their family for months and maybe years at a time . Respect and seek to understand the role of Aboriginal women and men and their family Responsibilities.
RESPECTING ABORIGINAL FAMILY STRUCTURES AND ROLES CONT. Be aware there is a difference in Aboriginal male and female lore/law practices, significant sites, traditional responsibilities etc. In many Aboriginal communities the women, particularly the older mothers and grandmothers are strong and influential. Young Aboriginal children are generally allowed much latitude to explore and be independent. Pre-teenage children can sometimes have substantial sibling responsibilities. Be aware that many people across the State are inter-related.
BREAKING STEREOTYPES Alcohol consumption Some people perceive that alcohol consumption is far greater within the Indigenous community. This is, in fact, a myth. Many Indigenous Australians do not drink alcohol at all – according to a recent census, approximately 32 per cent of Indigenous Australians are non-drinkers compared to only 16 per cent of the non-Indigenous population. Going “walkabout” It has also been said that Indigenous people did not own the land, but just wandered from place to place, or went “walkabout”. This misconception stems from the fact that Indigenous people did not mark their land with fences or borders in the way non-Indigenous people do. Indigenous people see themselves as belonging to the land, rather than owning it. Land was divided up through geographic boundaries such as rivers and mountains, and the knowledge of these boundaries was passed from one generation to the next. Before European settlement, Aboriginal Australians were a nomadic people, who moved from place to place in search of food and water. This practice also ensured that no one area would become over-hunted and gave natural resources the time they needed to be replenished.
BREAKING STEREOTYPES Since European settlement and the introduction of non-Indigenous law and order, many Indigenous Australians have been forced to give up their traditional lifestyle, or else this knowledge has been lost due to past government removal practices. Indigenous people now live in cities and towns across the country, as well as in rural areas and the outback. Negative imagery vs. positive achievement Despite the large amount of negative exposure in the mainstream media regarding Indigenous Australians, many Indigenous people are living successful lives and achieving great things. Most non-Indigenous people would be aware of Indigenous achievement in the sporting arena – namely Olympic gold medallist Cathy Freeman, boxer Anthony Mundine, and the many successful Indigenous footballers in the AFL and NRL. However, there are also many Indigenous people achieving in a variety of other fields, including the arts, education, the law, health and government.