As an organisation working directly with the community, it’s important for us to understand and respect individualism. Cultural Awareness is understanding the differences between ourselves and people from other countries or backgrounds, with a particular understanding and respect for differences in attitudes and values. As our Team Meeting coincided with NAIDOC week, we focussed on Aboriginal Cultural Awareness and are lucky enough to have Jenna-Lee on board as our Aboriginal Engagement Officer; being a proud Whadjuk Nyoongah woman she was the perfect person to deliver our training.
Jenna-Lee took us through a brief history of Australia. We looked at the effect colonisation had on Aboriginal people and the resulting key legislative milestones made in a bid to close the gap. After her presentation she quizzed us on important dates in history around the world – Extinction of the dinosaurs? What year did man first walk on the moon? Let’s just say it’s been a long time since some of us were in history class! Generously, Jenna-Lee shared important moments in her life that occurred as a result of her being Aboriginal. These insights included names in her family, their meanings with reference to their birth stories, totems used in communities as signs that can define a person’s future and gifts traditionally given and received at significant times such as entering man-hood or someone passing on from this life.
We all left with a better understanding of the ground we walk on, the difference between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Ways of Working and how we can use that understanding to work better together and close the gap. We look forward to increasing our cultural knowledge, both through learning as a team and through our interactions in the community.
This Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training enables us to ensure our Teachers and Trainers, working under our RTO, can demonstrate competencies in Indigenous Training; a requirement of their vocational development.