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Facilitator name Organisation name. Supported by funding from the Australian Government - Department of Immigration and Citizenship under the Settlement Grants Program funding program. Volunteering in Australia. Introduction to [Organisation] Why we exist What we do What our volunteers do

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Facilitator name

Organisation name

Supported by funding from the Australian Government - Department of Immigration and Citizenship under the Settlement Grants Program funding program

volunteering in australia
Volunteering in Australia
  • Introduction to [Organisation]
  • Why we exist
  • What we do
  • What our volunteers do
  • How you can get involved in volunteering with us
cultural awareness for volunteering in australia workshop outline
Cultural Awareness for Volunteering in Australia: Workshop Outline
  • Volunteering in Australia
    • What is volunteering?
    • The benefits of volunteering
  • Cultural Awareness
    • Understanding culture and cultural adaptation
    • Working with Australians: Finding the 3rd Culture
  • How to Volunteer
    • Volunteering Opportunities
    • Becoming a Volunteer
what is volunteering
What is “Volunteering”?

Volunteering is seen in different ways and is called by different names, but ‘helping the community’ is a universal value in all cultures.

People all over the world offer their help to others free of charge. They do this for friends (informally) and through organisations (formally).

what is volunteering1
What is “Volunteering”?
  • Formal volunteering is an activity which usually takes place through organisations and is done
    • To benefit the community and the volunteer
    • Of the volunteer’s own free will
    • For no financial payment
    • In designated volunteer positions only
who volunteers in australia
Who Volunteers in Australia?
  • Over 6 million Australians are volunteers, helping organisations in;
    • Emergency services
    • Welfare
    • Environment and conservation
    • Teaching
    • Fundraising
    • Managing and administration
the benefits of volunteering why do people volunteer
The Benefits of Volunteering:Why do people volunteer?
  • Helping their community
  • Personal satisfaction
  • Making friends and having fun
  • Gaining skills and work experience
  • Putting values and beliefs into practice
what are some other benefits of volunteering for new emerging community members to australia
What are some other benefits of volunteering for new & emerging community members to Australia?
  • Increase your understanding of the services available to your community
  • Help your community and society
  • Increase your understanding of and adjustment to Australian society
  • Improve your English skills
  • Increased acceptance and belonging
why does our organisation want newcomers to australia to volunteer
Why does [our organisation] want newcomers to Australia to volunteer?
  • New perspectives and ideas
  • New skills
  • Languages
  • Understanding different communities
  • Contacts in new communities
  • A wider pool of volunteers and future staff
why does our organisation want new people to australia to volunteer our organisations values
Why does [our organisation] want new people to Australia to volunteer?[Our Organisations’] Values
  • [Our Organisation’s] Values
    • Insert, eg. Service to the community
    • Insert, e.g Respect for all people
    • Insert, e.g Inclusion of all people
the importance of values
The importance of values
  • Your values are important to you and others
  • They define what you believe
  • They guide how you behave and how you expect others to behave
all cultures share core human values
All Cultures Share Core Human Values
  • Respect for human dignity
  • Respect for basic rights
  • Good citizenship
  • The Golden Rule: Do unto others…

These values are expressed and upheld in culturally different ways.

linking personal and organisational values through volunteering
Linking personal and organisational values through volunteering
  • Choosing the ‘right’ organisation for you to volunteer with is important
  • Learning about the values of an organisation is an important first step
  • A successful volunteering experience =
    • Matching your values with those of an organisation and
    • Helping the organisation fulfill its mission
cultural diversity in australia group profile
Cultural Diversity in Australia:Group Profile
  • Group Profile
    • Your name
    • Your country of birth
    • Your parents’ country or countries of birth
high context low context cultures cultures
High ContextLow ContextCultures Cultures


Greek Italian

Arabic English

Vietnamese Australian

Japanese U.S.A

Korean Swedish

Chinese German

Aboriginal Organisational

Cultures Cultures

cultural diversity in volunteering key statistics for south australia
Cultural Diversity in Volunteering: Key Statistics* for South Australia
  • 21% born in more than 200 countries:
    • 10% from English-speaking countries
    • 11% from non-English speaking countries
  • Top 10 new migrant source countries:
    • United Kingdom, India, China, Philippines, Afghanistan, South Africa, Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam and Iran
  • Other new and emerging communities:
    • Sudan, Thailand, Congo, Burma, Bhutan, Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Burundi and Ethiopia

*ABS Census 2006

understanding culture generalising vs stereotyping
Understanding CultureGeneralising vs Stereotyping
  • When we study and compare cultures we need to make general observations of the way people do things.
  • But we also need to remember we are dealing with individuals, not cultures.
  • It is necessary to understanding the difference between generalising and stereotyping.
generalising vs stereotyping
Australians tend to be individualistic

Germans tend to value efficiency and formality

U.S. Americans tend to praise personal success highly

Australians are selfish

Germans are uptight

Americans are show-offs

Generalising vs Stereotyping
understanding culture what is culture
Understanding CultureWhat is "Culture"?
  • The learned and shared behaviour of a society, its ‘common sense’.
  • A society’s set of spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features.
  • “It’s the way we do things around here.”
understanding culture what s different about australian culture
Understanding Culture: What’s “different” about Australian culture?
  • Obsession with sport
  • Families don’t always live nearby or stay in close touch
  • Many people don’t practice a religion
  • Being expected to be actively involved in your childrens’ education
  • Strangers asking “How are you today?”
  • Being invited to a party and asked to “bring a plate” or told it’s “B.Y.O.”
understanding culture
Understanding "Culture"

The central question to ask about different cultural views and actions is:


Why do ‘they’ do things that way?

Why do ‘we’ do things this way?

verbal behaviour
Verbal Behaviour

Accent: “I love/can’t stand that accent!”

Tone of Voice:“Don’t take that tone with me”

Volume: “Why do they talk so loudly?”

Rates of Speech: “Australians talk so fast!”

Jargon and Slang: “Ramp up.” “Bludger”

verbal behaviour1
Verbal Behaviour

Metaphors: “Don’t beat around the bush.”

Idioms: “Pull yoursocks up”

Swearing: “G’day you old bastard.”

Joking: “Just kidding. Can’t you take a joke?”

verbal behaviour australian humour
Verbal Behaviour: Australian Humour
  • Making sarcastic or cynical comments about others, giving them insulting nicknames
    • WHY? Testing a person’s sense of self-importance and ‘sense of humour’. A social levelling tool.
    • RESPONSE: Laugh it off. Return the ‘favour’
  • Making fun of, mocking other’s achievements
    • WHY? ‘Tall poppy syndrome’ – another way of social levelling and reducing power imbalance
    • RESPONSE: Accept in a spirit of joking humility.
verbal behaviour australian humour1
Verbal Behaviour: Australian Humour
  • Casual and constant joking and banter or teasing humour at work.
    • WHY? Informality is valued. Joking is a way of being friendly and a good way of getting things done.
    • RESPONSE: Don’t take offence. Don’t interpret as not being serious about work.
  • Telling ‘tall tales’ – untrue stories or facts – in a serious voice to trick the listener.
    • WHY? Social levelling by reducing others’ seriousness and testing their sense of humour
    • RESPONSE: Laugh at the trick. “You had me there!”
verbal behaviour australian swearing
Verbal Behaviour: Australian Swearing
  • Swearing ‘casually’, inserting rude words into general conversation. (More neutral tone of voice.)
    • WHY?Another form of informality and social levelling
    • RESPONSE: Don’t take it personally. Don’t interpret it as anger or aggression
  • Swearing ‘seriously’ to intentionally insult, criticise or complain. (Harsh or loud tone of voice.)
    • WHY? Expressing anger, disapproval, aggression.
    • RESPONSE: Apologise for, or verbally defend, your actions or intentions.
verbal behaviour organisational culture and etiquette introductions and conversation
Verbal Behaviour: Organisational Culture and Etiquette Introductions and Conversation
  • Direct approach to people is acceptable
  • Introduction by third party valuable
  • Use of first names on first meeting
  • Some topics of conversation, such as politics and religion can be ‘unsafe’ but opinions are respected, and frankness valued
  • Humour, including banter, is appreciated
  • Language: Ask if terms, jargon, slang, idiom are confusing.
non verbal behaviour australian norms
Non-Verbal Behaviour: Australian Norms
  • People normally stand about 1 meter apart
  • Direct but not intense eye contact is expected
  • Except for handshakes, people don’t touch each other very much. Women don’t always shake hands
  • If unsure, ask about what dress standards are expected
  • People only kiss friends in public and only once on the cheek.
communication style australian norms
Communication Style: Australian Norms
  • State your case directly, not indirectly
  • Silence in a conversation is uncomfortable
  • Use of humour and irony is common
  • Impolite to interrupt someone, but turn taking in conversation takes practice
  • ‘Yes’ means ‘yes’
communication style organisational culture and etiquette
Communication Style: Organisational Culture and Etiquette
  • Low on formality and high on informality
  • First name basis very early
  • Hierarchy is recognised but little deference is shown
  • Titles and honorifics rarely used
  • More respect for achievement than position
  • Dress codes fairly relaxed – but observe others and ask if not sure
communication style meetings
Communication Style: Meetings
  • Punctuality is highly valued. Call if running late (late = 10-15 minutes)
  • Never arrive unannounced. Arrange meetings well ahead if possible.
  • Meetings are time- and agenda-driven
  • Some small talk at beginning is acceptable and expected, but only briefly
  • People tend to get to the point quickly
dimensions of cultural values high context low context cultures cultures
Dimensions of Cultural ValuesHigh ContextLow Context Cultures Cultures


Greek Italian

Arabic English

Vietnamese Australian

Japanese U.S.A

Korean Swedish

Chinese German

Aboriginal Organisational

Cultures Cultures

the dimensions of cultural values
The Dimensions of Cultural Values
  • High Context Cultures
    • Members share and need to have a deeper, more complex body of understood experience and assumptions as the basis of cooperation. “Who you are”
  • Low Context Cultures
    • Members have and need less shared knowledge as basis for cooperation. Defined roles and codes take the place of assumptions.“What you do”
values and attitudes
High Context Cultures



Long term view

Given status

Verbal agreements


Low Context Cultures



Short term view

Achieved status

Written agreements


Values and Attitudes
australian organisations values and attitudes
Australian Organisations: Values and Attitudes
  • Organisations value equality and fairness, but these are not always practiced
  • Informality is a sign of equality
  • Structures are flatter, communication between levels is more direct
  • Groups recognise members as individuals first, group members second
  • Change is part of working life
australian organisations values and attitudes1
Australian Organisations: Values and Attitudes
  • Strong focus on time efficiency and deadlines
  • Planning is usually short term
  • Results are more important than relationships
  • Workplace relationships do not necessarily or usually extend into personal life
  • People work to live, not live to work
understanding cross cultural adaptation
Understanding Cross-Cultural Adaptation
  • Immigrants: Change by choice
    • Own decision. Preparation. Resources. Networks.
    • Stronger sense of identity, self-worth, competence, security, belonging and acceptance. Looking forward.
  • Refugees: Change by chance
    • Others’ decision. Little or no preparation. No or very few resources. Limited or no networks.
    • Weaker sense of identity, self-worth, competence, security, belonging and acceptance. Looking backward.
common intercultural fears
Common Intercultural Fears
  • Making a fool of oneself
  • Being ridiculed, offended or embarrassed
  • Embarrassing or offending someone  
  • Giving or getting wrong information 
  • Making or forming a bad impression 
  • Becoming or appearing confused
  • Being excluded, rejected, lonely
stages of cultural adaptation
Stages of Cultural Adaptation

1: Contact/Honeymoon

2: Disintegration/Disorientation

3: Re-integration/ Irritability & Hostility

4: Autonomy/Adjustment & Integration

5: Independence/ Biculturality

stages of cultural adaptation stage 1 contact honeymoon
Stages of Cultural AdaptationStage 1: Contact/ Honeymoon
  • Differences are interesting
  • Insulated by own culture
  • Perceptions of new culture screened by own culture
  • Excitement, stimulation, discovery
  • Curious, assured, positive
stages of cultural adaptation stage 2 disintegration disorientation
Stages of Cultural AdaptationStage 2: Disintegration/Disorientation
  • Differences, contrasts have more impact, begin to intrude
  • Loss of cultural support from home culture
  • Misreading new cultural cues
  • Confusion, isolation, apathy, feelings of inadequacy, loss of self-esteem
  • Depression, withdrawal
stages of cultural adaptation stage 3 reintegration irritability and hostility
Stages of Cultural AdaptationStage 3: Reintegration/Irritability and Hostility
  • Differences are rejected
  • Anger, rage, nervousness, anxiety, frustration
  • Suspicion, rejection, exclusion, opinionated
  • Rejection of the new culture
  • Pre-occupation with likes and dislikes
  • Self-assertive
  • Growing self-esteem
stages of cultural adaptation stage 4 autonomy adjustment integration
Stages of Cultural AdaptationStage 4: Autonomy/Adjustment & Integration
  • Differences and similarities are recognised
  • Self-assured, confident, relaxed, warm
  • Can negotiate most new situations
  • Assured of ability to deal with new experiences
stages of cultural adaptation stage 5 independence biculturality
Stages of Cultural AdaptationStage 5: Independence/Biculturality
  • Differences and similarities valued, accepted, important
  • Trust, humour, love, full expression
  • Capable of choice, creating meaning for situations
the intensity of the cultural adaptation experience increases when
The Intensity of the Cultural Adaptation Experience Increases when…
  • Cultures & languages are very different
  • We are immersed in the new culture
  • We feel isolated from our own culture
  • We have little intercultural experience
  • Our expectations are not met
  • We are visibly different from majority
  • We have lost status, power and control
cultural adaptation summary
Cultural Adaptation: Summary
  • Most people experience similar feelings and stages of disorientation in a new culture
  • Can result in a range of issues, emotions and behaviours
  • Adaptation happens at different speeds for different people
  • Involvement in volunteering can help people adjust to the new culture
cross cultural bridge building learning how to communicate and work as equals
Cross-Cultural Bridge Building: Learning How to Communicate and Work As Equals
  • In Australia, we will always come into contact with people from many different cultures, with
    • Different perspectives
    • Different experiences
    • Different ways of doing things
  • The key to living and working as equals is to communicate across the invisible gaps between cultures and understand the values that are shared.
bridging intercultural gaps the iceberg metaphor
Bridging Intercultural Gaps: The Iceberg Metaphor

Visible: Words & Actions


Values & Attitudes



bridging intercultural gaps the iceberg metaphor1
Culture A: Visible

Little eye contact

Low volume speech

Invisible: Values



Interpretation of B

Aggressive & Rude

Culture B: Visible

Direct eye contact

High volume speech

Invisible: Values



Interpretation of A

Evasive & Weak

Bridging Intercultural Gaps: The Iceberg Metaphor
bridging intercultural gaps building the bridge
Bridging Intercultural Gaps: Building the Bridge
  • Talk about and explain your feelings and reactions to observed words and actions
  • Ask about the other’s feelings and reactions to your words and actions
  • Explore and agree on ways of communicating that are mutually acceptable
key factors for bridging intercultural gaps
Key Factors for Bridging Intercultural Gaps
  • Understand your own cultural values, assumptions and expectations
    • Why do we behave the way we do?
  • Learn about those of other cultures
    • Why do they behave the way they do?
  • Discover ways to work as equals
    • Discuss and explain key differences
    • Find the ‘Third Culture’
cross cultural bridge building finding the third culture1
Cross-Cultural Bridge Building: Finding the Third Culture

When people from differing cultures meet and talk about their preferred ways of communicating and working, they build a bridge of understanding between them that enables them to work together as equals in a ‘third culture’

cultural awareness in volunteering close
Cultural Awareness in Volunteering: Close

“Differences do not necessarily mean barriers; they can become bridges to understanding andthe enrichment of our lives.” Robert Moran, Managing Cultural Differences, 1991

In [Our Organisation] we welcome and celebrate our differences as we work together to help our community.

how to become a volunteer in our organisation
How to Become a Volunteer in [Our Organisation]
  • Volunteering opportunities
    • List
  • What is expected of you
    • Commitment etc
  • What you can expected of us
    • Training
    • Support etc
  • How to apply
    • How to apply
our organisation logo
[Our Organisation Logo]
  • [Our Organisation] welcomes you…