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Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Strategy Cultural Awareness Adelaide 2011 Day 2 Putting into practice. Our People. VIDEO. Cultural Safety & Competence. Cultural Competence

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Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander StrategyCultural AwarenessAdelaide 2011Day 2Putting into practice

Our People


Cultural safety competence
Cultural Safety & Competence

Cultural Competence

A set of similar behaviours, attitudes and policies that come together in a system, or agency, or amongst professionals and enables that system to work effectively in cross cultural situations.

* Adapting service or product delivery and policies and procedures

Where have we come from
Where have we come from?

  • July 2007

  • Indigenous Policy Core Principles

  • July 2009

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait

  • Islander Strategy

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait

  • Islander Employment and

  • Retention Sub-strategy

August 2009

  • Staff Practice Manual

  • Currently being updated

    May 2010

  • A5 strategy brochure

    • general audience

  • DL brochure for communities

    • sent with cover letter to 2,500

    • community organisations

Aboriginal & Torres Strait

Islander Strategy

  • Key strategy principles

  • Long-term, respectful partnerships

  • Active community ownership involvement in planning, delivery and review

  • We do not compete

  • Employ local people who know and understand their communities and can help us work best together.

  • .

Message stones 2
Message stones 2

  • Key message

  • Preferred if only one being used

  • Most prominent if multiple being used

Background graphic
Background graphic

  • all available on image library + style guide

  • landscape photos

Employment and retention sub strategy
Employment and Retention Sub Strategy

  • Introduce new employment policies and practices to increase existing number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and volunteers across all Australian Red Cross programs.

  • Build a culture within Red Cross that supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and volunteers.

  • Develop effective Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and volunteer retention systems through mentoring and partnering processes.

  • Target of 6% Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander employees.

ABS data from 30June 2006 (the most recent data) shows that:

The estimated resident Indigenous population of Australia was 517,000 people, or 2.5% of the total Australian population.

NSW had the largest population of Indigenous Australians (184,200 people) but the Northern Territory has the largest proportion of Indigenous Australians (31.6%)


Where aboriginal and torres strait islander peoples reside
Where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Reside

124 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff (up from ~70 in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

Red Cross Staff

Group activity
Group Activity in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

Lets have 10 minutes to discuss:

  • how are you going to recruit, retain and develop Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff?


Tips For Managers in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce


Currently being developed as new manual to build on Employment Strategy

  • Aboriginal people do not, as a general rule, simply respond to newspaper ads for jobs particularly with an organisation that they have no knowledge of or relationship with.

  • Engage directly and proactively with local organisations

  • Job ads on their notice boards/networks

  • Promote on local Aboriginal radio station

  • Engage Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander employment services,

  • Advertise in Koori Mail & National Indigenous Times

  • Aboriginal person on recruitment panel

  • Someone from a local Aboriginal organisation, respected community member, Red Cross staff

Tips for managers
Tips for managers in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce


  • Have an Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander representative on the interview panel, Red Cross staff or a rep from partner organisation

  • Create a relaxed environment for interviews.

  • Start with informal discussion to help establish rapport with the interviewee

  • For remote/regional candidates, consider a support person to attend the interview support person may speak on behalf of applicant

  • Some people find it hard to ‘big note’ themselves and may be less likely to discuss openly their qualities and abilities

  • Watch out for cultural differences such as little eye contact, handshake, language differences

  • Silence once a question is asked quite often means the interviewee is thinking about the question before answering. Allow time for the interviewee to answer before attempting to rephrase the question


Tips For Managers in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce


  • Understand cultural obligations that may impact on work

  • Acknowledge cultural competency of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander staff

  • Celebrate important events: NAIDOC Week, National Sorry Day, Mabo Day, etc.

  • Internal/external mentoring, buddy system.

Levels of mentoring
Levels of Mentoring in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

  • Professional

  • Cultural

  • Buddy

Lunch break 30 minutes
Lunch Break!! in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce30 minutes

Group activity1
Group Activity in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

  • Break up into 4 groups

  • 4 case studies / All 4 scenarios each group

  • Spend 45 minutes discussing and recording strategies

  • Each group will present 1 scenario back to whole group ( 5 mins max)

  • Q&A

Discussion in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

Case study 1
Case study 1 in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

Red Cross has recently opened a new office in a regional centre and employed a well respected local person who belongs to one of two competing native title claimant groups. Community tension and conflict is particularly high at the moment with a major resource project proposed for development.

The Regional Manager is non-Aboriginal and while they’ve worked in the region for about 5 years, does not have strong relationships with the local Aboriginal community.  The RM is getting conflicting information about whether the staff member is an appropriate person for Red Cross to employ. There are rumours and innuendo but nothing that can be substantiated or verified.

As a senior member of staff, what advice and guidance would you provide to the RM and how Red Cross should deal with these concerns regarding the staff member?

Case study 2
Case Study 2 in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

An Aboriginal staff member has family often coming into the office using office equipment/facilities such as the phone or car, or “humbugging” the staff member for money. This includes a family member who is quite intimidating.   

A teenage girl has just been appointed in a temporary role and other staff are concerned about how she will cope with the situation, especially if on her own. 

As the office manager how would you deal with this extremely sensitive situation?

Case study 3
Case study 3 in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

A non-Aboriginal supervisor/manager has concerns about work related performance issues with an Aboriginal staff member who is extremely well connected in the community. The supervisor/manager is accused of not listening to the advice of the staff member that they cannot undertake further community work at this time. The supervisor is sceptical about the advice and believes that it doesn’t reflect the true situation or views of the community.

How might the matter be addressed so that it minimises conflict and potential for other fall out e.g. with other Aboriginal staff within the office, with community ?

Case study 4
Case Study 4 in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

  • In response to a natural disaster, Red Cross has established an evacuation centre at the local school in a rural town. The town services a substantial farming community and has a significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population that is very marginalised by the broader community. There is no regional office in this location and the only Red Cross presence is the local branch. Along with a number of Red Cross employees deployed to the evacuation centre, many of the local volunteers who are also active members of the local branch are deployed as well. The evacuation centre team leader has been deployed from another state and has not had any experience working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. None of the Red Cross volunteers or deployed staff are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

  •  As a deployed Red Cross staff member, you witness branch members segregating the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the evacuation centre and treating them much differently to the non-Indigenous evacuees. There are also examples of blatant discrimination and inappropriate comments, and it appears the team leader does not notice any problem with this behaviour.

Employment benefits
Employment Benefits in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander staff critical to success of our strategy

  • Local people know and understand their communities, provide guidance and advice on how to work locally, ensure quality services and programs

  • Becoming an ‘employer of choice’ for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

  • Improved reputation and delivery of services

  • Culturally diverse workplace

What we know
What we Know in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

Macquarie University research project

  • Measure awareness of our internal capacity to relate to, understand and  engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities in framing and delivering programs, and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff

  • Detailed interviews with 40 participants across Red Cross

  • Key findings:

    • Over estimation of cultural competence

    • Minimisation of difference

    • Next Steps – Working Group

Red cross development approach
Red Cross Development in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of WorkforceApproach

  • Community leads and drives processes, decides what it wants, how to achieve it and how it will work.

  • Works with communities to recognise and analyse:

    • strengths, assets and issues in their community

    • develop strategies and action plans.

  • Requires patience, flexibility, creativity and can take a long time

  • Not for Red Cross to ‘solve’ issues or simply deliver a series of

    unconnected programs, services or training.

  • Requires ‘joined up’, coordinated responses that need to be

    sustained over the long term.

Some of our national programs
Some of Our National Programs in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

  • Healthy baby healthy community

  •             Maternal & child health

  • SAM (Save a Mate) our Way / beyondblue

  •             Remote & rural youth social & emotional wellbeing

  • RespectED

  •             Family & community safety

Challenges for o ur programs
Challenges for in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforceour programs

  • Flexibility needed for:

  • community disruption

    • wet season, extended funeral ceremonies (“sorry business”), community disputes, transient population

  • building the ‘front end’

    • community trust in Red Cross, protocols, identify strengths, build partnerships (eg: 25 stakeholders in Woorabinda)

  • staff turnover

    • pressure to deliver outcomes/outputs, limited skill pool, retention, additional training, community development mentoring

Some of our sa programs
Some of our SA programs in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

  • Davenport Community

  • Males in Black

  • Emergency preparedness

  • GSBC / FOODcents

  • Infant car restraints

Challenges for sa programs
Challenges for SA programs in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

  • Local Perspectives

Break out group activity
Break Out Group Activity in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

  • 3 groups

  • 15 minute discussion on:

  • How will you get out and engage with community to build relationships, partnerships and get real buy in at a community and individual level?

  • Report back to group 5 minute each

Consultation negotiation preparation
Consultation & Negotiation Preparation in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

  • Learn as much as possible about the community, key people and organisations

  • Engagement of local facilitator or broker

  • Find out what community structures are in place for consultation and engagement processes.

  • Stakeholders.

  • Community Advisory Group

  • Set goals and plan

  • Identify participants’ needs 

  • Manage expectations

Engagement processes
Engagement processes in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

To ensure Red Cross demonstrates good engagement processes consider the following:

  • Seek permission from appropriate people

  • Use group discussions

  • Use varied and appropriate information presentation formats

  • Allow and encourage mutual influence

  • Actively foster trust, respect and ownership

  • Maintain regular contact and feedback

  • Develop community profile/map in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

    - essential to have accurate, reliable and current information before starting working in communities

  • Coordinate with other organisations working in the community  - Government departments, agencies and other organisations

  • Find out if there is a calendar of community events that staff/members/volunteers might get involved in/support - sports & cultural events, NAIDOC week activities, etc.

Community meetings and visits
Community meetings and in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce visits

  • Be aware of the incredible demands and requests for meetings that communities and organisations are constantly dealing with

  • Seek opportunities to ‘piggy back’ on other meetings if appropriate  

  • It is unwise to organise a formal meeting if you are not known by anyone in the community

  • BBQs, family fun days, etc have worked well…

  • Hiring casual staff as interpreters, cultural brokers

After community visits
After community visits in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

  • Follow up with a thank you phone call or note/email.

  • Complete notes and visit report for internal purposes.

  • Update the community profile.

  • Evaluate the visit – did we achieve what we aimed to achieve?

  • Are there any advocacy issues that should be followed up?

  • Maintain contact and follow up what was discussed.

  • Send back to the community a report and/or photos.

Tools for sustainable relationships and partnerships
Tools for sustainable in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforcerelationships and partnerships

  • Get to know your community

  • Understand the community context & dynamics

  • Prepare for genuine consultation and negotiations

  • Follow Red Cross engagement processes

Use your Practice Manual

Where to from here strategic action plan
Where to from here…… in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of WorkforceStrategic Action Plan

Executive directors final message
Executive Directors final message! in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce

ww.corporateculcha.com.au in Dec 2009 / ~100 April 2010) almost 6% of Workforce