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CHCDIV002 Assessment Task 5

Assessment Task 5

Part A: Portfolio/Project

Task summary:

You are required to provide a portfolio of your experiences working in a diverse cultural environment and your ability to promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) cultural safety for a workplace.

You may do this based on your current or previous workplace. If you are unable to do this, you are to select an organisation that has appropriate policies and information on their website to promote ATSI cultural safety.

Resources and equipment required to complete this task

  • Access to your current or previous workplace including documents, policies and procedures

OR

  • Access to a workplace’s website that includes information on policies and procedures
  • Access to your Structured Study Plan
  • Access to assessment template (Online Learning Portal)
  • Access to textbooks and other learning materials.
  • Access to a computer and the Internet

Instructions:

  • Please refer to the Structured Study Plan for the scheduled activities and timelines associated with this task.
  • This portfolio covers a number of areas of work in a diverse cultural environment. The areas are:
  • Part A: Promotion of cultural safety
  • Part B: Communication with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Part C: Planning and implementing culturally supportive environments and experiences
  • You will need to gather evidence for this task while you are at work or during your online research work.
  • Make sure you check the portfolio requirements carefully so that you can gather all the information that you need.
  • You have been asked to provide some documents as evidence throughout the portfolio – if there is any reason you cannot provide this evidence, for example due to confidentiality requirements of your organisation, you will need to discuss this with your assessor.
  • In some cases you are asked to provide photographs, video and/or audio evidence. You must make sure that any person in photographic or audio/visual recordings has given their permission. Please use Permission Form as required.
  • You may also include other forms of evidence in your portfolio if you wish, for example, copies of policies, photos, videos, program plans etc.
  • You need to answer all the questions correctly.
  • You must use your computer to type in the answers to the questions
  • The word limit for the task is 1000-1500 words.

Part A: Promotion of cultural safety

Fill in the following table to provide an example of how you have promoted Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety.

Name of workplace/Organisation: Natsihwa (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers Association)

Date: _____/______/_______

Details

List any evidence that you wish to include to support your response.

1. Describe a situation where you have promoted Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety, or if you have not done this yourself,:

Describe how your workplace promote cultural safety

OR

Describe how the organisation you selected promote cultural safety

NATSIHWA considers it is critical to increase the understanding of the role and value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers across the health system. Therefore, they established the Cultural Safety Framework (the Framework) for the purpose of identifying and providing practical guidance for the development and implementation of cultural safety strategies within and across healthcare systems, in the workplace, and by the health workforce. The Framework is a companion document to both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Professional Practice Framework (2012) and the Growing Our Futures report by Health Workforce Australia. Change will occur through strong strategic executive leadership across the health system. In particular, more needs to be done nationally to embed cultural safety and respect across all health services, and creating culturally safe and responsive healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people requires a coordinated cross-sectoral approach to achieve this goal

2. What are three potential cultural safety issues or limitations for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander people in this workplace/organisation ?

A safe and culturally responsive workplace environment is one that acknowledges, respects, and accommodates difference. Cross cultural training programs, strategies and other transforming workplace tools have slowly gained traction in the private and public healthcare workplace domain with each, in their own way, designed to create a better understanding and awareness of respecting and accommodating cultural difference and diversity. In this context, NATSIHWA deems it important that executive leadership is at the forefront of embedding cultural safety within the work environment and to ensure that all health professionals acquire the skills and knowledge essential for the successful and systematic implementation of cultural safety principles and practice. NATSIHWA, through its membership, have identified several strategies as being crucial to enhancing and maintaining cultural safety in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare contexts:

• The need to achieve balance between academic and/ or clinical expertise and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural knowledge.

• The universal application and implementation of cultural safety across the workplace.

• Embedding the principles of ‘cultural safety’ within the accreditation of all health professional practice and health services.

• An awareness of the importance and applicability of both verbal and non-verbal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communication styles.

• Recognition and respect for cultural obligations, cultural validation, and cultural credentialing within cultural safe workplaces.

• Acknowledgement of and respect for cultural protocols within gender specific services.

So, if the employee does not follow the last principles, could be some issues such as:

1. Missunderstanding between what the employees consider health balance (western tradition ns) and what are the basic health care and health balance acknowledge by Aboriginals

2. Miscommunication and misunderstandings for not using the appropriate non-verbal communication

3. Do not respect the protocols in terms of gender, for example women can feel more comfortable if the doctor who is going to take care of her is a woman.

3a.What are the projected outcomes for your workplace/ organisation to promote and improve cultural safety for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander in this workplace/organisation?

Cultural safety is the outcome of education that enables safe services to be defined by those who receive the service. Unsafe cultural practice is any action which diminishes, demeans, or disempowers the cultural identity and wellbeing of an individual. Cultural safety aims to enhance the delivery of health services by identifying the power relationship between the healthcare professional and the person receiving care and empowering the service user to take full advantage of the health care service offered. Cultural safety is based on the experience of the recipient of care, and involves the effective care of a person or family from another culture by a healthcare professional who has undertaken a process of reflection on their own cultural identity and recognizes the impact their culture has on their own practice. Cultural safety on a continuum of care with cultural awareness being the first step in the learning process (which involves understanding difference), cultural sensitivity being a next step (where self-exploration occurs), cultural competence, and cultural safety being the final outcome of this process. This is a dynamic and multidimensional process where an individual’s place in the continuum can change depending on the setting or community.

3b. Explain how this conflict in any way with your own cultural biases?

There are no conflicts at all with my own cultural biases. I believe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing combines mental, physical, cultural, and spiritual health of the individual as well as the whole community. For this reason, the term "social and emotional wellbeing" is usually preferred over terms like "mental health" and "mental illness". Addressing social and emotional wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples calls for the recognition of human rights, the strength of family, and the recognition of cultural diversity. This includes language, kinship, traditional lifestyles, and geographical locations (urban, rural, and remote). Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander identity is about heritage, culture, upbringing, connection, and life experiences. Within these populations, there are many languages and cultures, each with their own way of understanding and addressing issues around social and emotional wellbeing.

WORKPLACE SUPERVISOR CONFIRMATION IF RELEVANT: Please confirm the student’s account of this situation by signing here. By signing this section, you agree you saw the student completing above.

Name: ____________________________ Signature: _________________________

Position: __________________________

Date: _____________________________

Part B: Communication with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

Fill in the following table to provide an example of how the workplace communicates with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

Ask someone from the workplace who saw you do this to confirm the details you have given in the Third-Party Confirmation section. Attach any supporting evidence.

Date: _____/______/_______

Details

Tick to confirm that you have included the required evidence listed below.

Relevant parts of your workplace communication and/or diversity policy/ procedures.

List any further evidence that you wish to include.

1a. Access and evaluate the workplace /organisation policies and procedures. Does the policy and procedures guide how to communicate with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?

The policy and procedure of this organization does guide communicate with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Cultural Safety Framework is underpinned by the following set of enabling principles: Aboriginal Self Determination, Social and Restorative Justice, Equity, Negotiated Partnership, Transparency, Reciprocity, Accountability, Sustainability, Political Bipartisanship, Cultural Contextuality These enabling principles are the pre-requisites for ensuring effective and sustainable transformational change within the health system whereby cultural safety strategies are embedded within the processes and policies to increase health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

1b. Discuss how this is helpful to a “worker” in the organisation to allow the worker to work with ATSI employees and clients.

Across mainstream Australia few would know, understand, or recognize ATSI Health Workers and Health Practitioners as standalone professions. Yet, within ATSI Australia, this workforce is renowned as a vital and reliable community resource critical to the health and wellbeing of ATSI people. Evidence directly connects their roles to improved health across the life course.

ATSI Health Workers and Health Practitioners work with communities, families, and individuals of all ages. They work autonomously and in teams with other health professionals, including medical doctors, registered nurses and midwives, dentists, psychologists, allied health professionals, and with policy makers, educators, and researchers.

They provide a range of health services depending upon the work setting and individual scope of practice. These may include, but are not limited to:

Clinical services such as: assessment and screening of physical health and social emotional wellbeing, health promotion for risk factors (e.g. tobacco, healthy eating), providing health care in line with care plans and/or treatment protocols, supporting clients in self-management, including the safe use of traditional and Western medications.

Planning, delivering, and evaluating population health programs.

Advocating for clients, including interpreting, and translating language.

Providing advice, support, and training on providing culturally safe health services to other health professionals, policy makers, researchers, and educators.

Management activities, such as: staff supervision and mentoring, business and financial management, quality improvement, education and training of Health Workers and other health professionals.

2a. What are potential communication issues with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and how may that affect the quality of services provided to them?

All communications with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be respectful and culturally sensitive. There is no formula or set rule for interacting with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. When communicating with Indigenous audiences, government agencies should be aware that there may be barriers to effective communication and engagement because of past negative experiences with governments, cultural and traditional differences between and within groups, and a higher degree of transiency, particularly in regional and remote locations. General considerations when communicating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences include:

Use clear language – ensure jargon, acronyms or technical terms are minimized and fully explained.

Be aware that words might have different meanings in different communities

Use multiple channels to convey your message, which can include face-to-face, letters, television, brochures, posters, talking posters, print media, community radio, videos, websites, and social media.

Use Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices to demonstrate relevant stories of success and encourage locals to share their stories through your communication channels.

Use a mix of mainstream and Indigenous media channels for general information and Indigenous specific information.

Use culturally specific elements for Indigenous-specific communications, such as language, talent, design, and music elements.

Be aware that there may be gender specific elements that need to be considered for cultural reasons.

Consider that some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities face lower literacy and numeracy skills.

Be active providers of information as some Indigenous communities wait to receive government information rather than to seek it out.

2b. What are some strategies that you can use when communicating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?

the Natsihwa cultural safety framework is comprised of eight domains which are viewed as equally important, interrelated, and applied consistently and equitably. Each domain represents a particular focus which is considered essential to the effective creation and maintenance of a culturally safe and responsive healthcare workplace environment and system. Each domain has a set of components, namely: core knowledge and practice, core enablers, core performance indicators, and a monitoring and evaluation component. The framework can be used to assist communities, health services, health professionals, and healthcare systems to negotiate and collaborate in relation to the development of locally focused and derived processes to improve the nature and scope of healthcare services in how they deliver services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

3a. Provide an example of when you communicated with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community member, worker or client

OR

How you would communicate with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community member, worker or client?

- I would communicate with an Aboriginal in the same way I communicate with other people, following the next principles: Use appropriate words, neutral, a non judgemental language

- Being understanding and acknowledging other´s opinions.

- Use an adequate tone of voice and volume

- If I am talking to someone with any disability make sure I am using resources to make them the communication easier.

- Pick a quiet and peaceful environment.

The only aspect that I would consider more carefully is the non-verbal communication. For example, do not make eye contact, because some Aboriginal’s traditions do not follow making eye contact when having a conversation, and also do not be very close and make physical contact, because it may be disrespectful for them.

3b. Summarise the conversation from question 3a

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences comprise a wide range of people with different communication needs, information preferences, and expectations of government. These different needs are influenced by factors including location, levels of literacy, age, cultural considerations, and access to technologies. When communicating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples it is particularly important to consider their locality and whether they are accessing Government services and information from an urban, regional, or remote setting. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in urban centers have access to mainstream services and information, whereas those living in regional or remote locations may have targeted services, programs and dedicated government staff to deliver information to the community. Those living in remote communities may also have lower English proficiency with English being the second, third or fourth language spoken within the community. When considering communication with regional and remote communities it is important to remember that every community has their own local protocols, and this should dictate the communications approach you take. All communications with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be respectful and culturally sensitive. There is no formula or set rule for interacting with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. When communicating with Indigenous audiences, government agencies should be aware that there may be barriers to effective communication and engagement because of past negative experiences with governments, cultural and traditional differences between and within groups, and a higher degree of transiency, particularly in regional and remote locations.

3c. How did the communication show respect for cultural differences?

The communication showed respect by following some simple strategies for effective cross-cultural communication such as:

· Speaking slowly and clearly.

· Using short and simple sentences.

· Maintaining normal volume.

· Using different words to express the same idea.

· Prioritising and sequence your instructions.

· Avoiding jargon.

· Responding to expressed emotions.

3d. Evaluate and describe ways that the communication could have been improved to suit the needs of the person,worker or client of the service.

Establishing a human connection: You can be informal and still be professional. Ultimately, you are one person talking to another and reminding a client they are dealing with a human being helps break down a barrier.

Be sensitive to your client’s comfort zone: On average, 78% of Australians between 14 to 65 have internet access at home, but age is still the greatest barrier to using digital services. But less than half of all Australians aged 65 and over have a home internet connection but that does not mean they are not engaging with online services.

With the increasing emphasis on digital communication it is important to survey older clients to make sure you are engaging with them effectively.

Understand communication channels… and when to use them: Technology unlocks new ways of communicating, but traditional avenues are still good options. Below is a list of ways to contact clients, with benefits and recommended use of each: Direct mail (DM), SMS, presentations, landing pages, videos, statements.

Prioritize quality over quantity: Ask plenty of questions when you meet a client to gain a clear understanding of their goals. Armed with this knowledge, you can provide targeted communications that specifically address their concerns and needs.

Add a personal touch: When a client feels understood by their adviser, the relationship can flourish. In the age of digital communication, a handwritten note can go a long way. Sending them a handwritten note with their report can strengthen your relationship.

Use your knowledge to everyone’s advantage: An adviser is in the unique position to judge how best to engage with clients. Only the adviser knows which client will be receptive to highly technical, data-driven analysis and who would prefer their communication in layman’s terms. Make sure you tailor your engagement based on your client’s preference.

WORKPLACE SUPERVISOR CONFIRMATION IF RELEVANT: Please confirm the student’s account of this situation by signing here. By signing this section, you agree you saw the student completing above.

Name: ____________________________ Signature: _________________________

Position; __________________________

Date: _____________________________

Part C: PLANNING, IMPLEMENTING AND EVALUATING CULTURALLY SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENTS AND EXPERIENCES

You need to fill in the following table with the evidence of how you planned and implemented an environment/program or service to culturally support Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in your workplace/organisation.

Ensure you attach supporting evidence.

Date: _____/______/_______

Details

Tick to confirm that you have included the required evidence listed below.

Copy of the planning, design and evaluation of this environment and experience

List any further evidence that you wish to include.

1. Set up/Design and provide evidence of an environment / program / service that is culturally supportive of the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community. If you undertake setting up an environment, you will need to take photos and attach them in this section

For this environment, program or service:

a) Identify the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partnerships that exist for the organisation and

b) list the strategies that can be implemented to support existing partnerships and

c) list the resources that can be utilised to promote these partnerships

A The policies and procedures from Natsihwa, as well as their vision and mission

Their partnership with NSW health

b. Update their mission and vision as well as their policies and procedures depending on the year, the new needs they might notice Aboriginal people can have and also include their opinions and feedback

Setting up meetings with the client, and make focus groups, interviews, surveys, etc.

Frequent interactions with workers and cleints and see how they can improve the service and be opened if they need to change a policy

c. the information needs to be shared via channels aboriginals have easy access to

They also need to have a team who is in charged of researching and adapt new policies and procedures, as well as updating trainings and sharing this with the community.

2. Describe the planning and delivery of this environment/program/service that is culturally supportive of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community:

Natsihwa is already implemented in remote rural areas, but it is important to ensure that all the aboriginals which in there have access and know the organisation

Make the relationship with NSW health stronger because they can have more impact and reach more communities together

Interact with the land counsel and explain to him the purpose of the organisation and the benefits for them to have access to their services.

Permision to go to their land and share the information about the organisation

Welcome to country ceremony

a) What was the process?

Making the contacts with the remote communities we wanted to accede and also make the information comprehensible and adequate for the communities.

Respect the protocols and train the people who are going to the land as well as the all people who are new in the organisation.

b) Who was the target audience

The target audience was the elder people, because they are the wiser people in the community and they provide acceptation of the service as well as ca provide advice to the community to go to the organisation in case they need it.

c) How and where did you deliver it ?

3. How will/could this environment/program/service benefit the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the community or the context of the workplace /organisation?

This program will benefict the remote communities due to sometimes they do not have to access to a quality health care, and this program is designed by ATSI people who are specialised in this area and have in consideration all the needs that ATSI people may have. At the same time, is beneficious because is not an imposicion of the Western medicine, unlike it is a program created by ATSI for ATSI, obviously, there are more people working there who is fully trained and hundred percent competent to work in a diverse environment.

3. How will this environment/program/service benefit non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (think of staff members, clients and families in the community?

This program will benefit the members of it, other clients amd families in the community because they are going to be surrounded by diverse people, which means they can share knowledge, experiences, life stories and this is a positive thing due to it may make the society more tolerant and more respectful. At the same time, if you are part of the program it means that you are open to know about other ways of thinking, health, relate, among others which means that it build up positive relationships free of judgments and discrimination.

4.

a) What were the desired outcomes of this environment/program/service and

b) How did you determine this ?

The desired outcomes are:

The ATSI people who live in remote rural areas have access to a quality health service created by ATSI people and not something imposed by the Western medicine.

Bring support to ATSI people who live in remote rural areas in terms of mental health services

The outcome were determined because ATSI people who live in remote rural areas have been marginalised through the years and the rate of mortality and diseases that could be controlled is higher compared to aborigines living in urban centers. At the same time, the organization focuses not to impose western medicine as the most important, but to consider traditional medicine and shamans as a source of wisdom and keep their customs and traditions alive.

Additionally, the marginalization that aborigines have suffered throughout history has created a trauma in some of them, which is reflected in mental problems, for this we have a specialized team that has the ability to understand this situation and provide a full support when needed.

5. Where was the information to design this environment/ program /service obtained from in the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community?

This is a program created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, so the information was obtained from their experience and from some research and statistics from the government and NGO´s which show the precarious access to the health services that experience ATSI people

6. List the outcomes that needs to be evaluated following the delivery of this environment/program/experience.

What has been the impact of the service in the Community

If the community is happy with the process or if they consider that something needs to be changed.

The relationship between the workers and the client. If they create a safety environment for ATSI people.

What are possible changes that needs to be made.

7. How will Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders be involved in the evaluation?

The organisation will seek for feedback and after each service provided it is necessary that the client evaluate the service.

We don’t seek just for individual feedback, unlike the organisation wants to know what the community in general thinks about it, so researching methods like focal groups are considered in this evaluation of the outcomes.

Feedback from the workers.

8. Describe how strategies will be revised based on the above evaluation.

§ The strategies will be revised by the leaders of the organisation, they will reviewthe feedbacks and and they will highlight the most relevant information they found. They will point out things in common that the feedback and the focus groups say, the latter will be guided by an expert and an aboriginal who is part of the community and can lead the issue and obtain the desired information.

Additionally, individual needs will be taken into account, but general results that the community thinks should be improved will be prioritized. The good results will be highlighted with the staff, so that they realize that their work is worthwhile and the impact they are causing in the community. And the possible changes to be implemented will be shared and disclosed among clients and members of the organization.

WORKPLACE SUPERVISOR CONFIRMATION Please confirm the student’s account of this situation by signing here. By signing this section, you agree you saw the student completing above. Was work done in line with workplace policies and procedures?

Name:____________________________Signature:_________________________Position;__________________________

Date: ______________________

Part B: Reflective report

Task summary:

This task requires you to undertake a structured process to reflect on the work you will do in Part A and how you can work respectfully with people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

Resources and equipment required to complete this task

  • Access to your Structured Study Plan
  • Access to assessment template (Online Learning Portal)
  • Access to textbooks and other learning materials.
  • Access to a computer and the Internet

Instructions:

  • You will do this task in your own time.
  • Please refer to the Structured Study Plan for the scheduled activities and timelines associated with this task.
  • You must use your computer to type in the answers to the questions
  • The word limit for this report is 500-1000 words.
  • For this task, you are required to reflect on your attitudes, beliefs and perceptions of cultural diversity in the selected workplace for Part A.
  • You are to write a reflective report that covers each item below. You can use the headings provided below to separate your discussions. You must cover each bullet point.
  • Remember that cultural sensitivity and competence is not only in how you speak and interact with others, but how you write about different cultures and your opinions and perspectives.

Reflective Report (500 -1000 words)

1. Your own culture

a. What do you understand by Cultural bias? How does cultural bias affect your work? How do you think your background impacts on people from backgrounds/cultures different to your own?

What do you understand by Cultural bias?

Cultural bias is the tendency to judge people in terms of one's own cultural assumptions. Cultural bias involves a prejudice or highlighted distinction in viewpoint that suggests a preference of one culture over another. Cultural bias can be described as discriminative. There is a lack of group integration of social values, beliefs, and rules of conduct.

How does cultural bias affect your work?

Unconscious bias can affect collaboration between employees and prevent innovation and productivity. Some common ways that unconscious bias can quietly and unknowingly create unintended exclusion in people's daily work are through interviewing, coaching/developing, talent reviews, and day-to-day interactions.

How do you think your background impacts on people from backgrounds/cultures different to your own?

Your background will affect the way you view and interact with others. By reflecting on your background, you can become aware of biases and prejudices that may impact on your relationship with others from different backgrounds. Once identified, you can then build strategies to handle these impacts.

b. How do your cultural beliefs, values and experiences affect your behaviour, your relationships with others and your social expectations of others from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait background?

Personally speaking my cultural beliefs do not affect my behavior and relationships with others because I believe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing combines mental, physical, cultural, and spiritual health of the individual as well as the whole community, and that is something that I respect the most . Addressing social and emotional wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples calls for the recognition of human rights, the strength of family, and the recognition of cultural diversity. This includes language, kinship, traditional lifestyles, and geographical locations (urban, rural, and remote). Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander identity is about heritage, culture, upbringing, connection, and life experiences. Within these populations, there are many languages and cultures, each with their own way of understanding and addressing issues around social and emotional wellbeing.

2. Diversity in the workplace

Note to the student: where you refer to specific colleagues, supervisors, or clients, do not identify them by name. You may like to use ‘Colleague A’ or ‘Client 1’ or similar.

a. Provide details about the workplace you selected/based your Assessment Task 4 How diverse is it in terms of staff and client base from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait background?

NATSIHWA staff are unique among health professionals in that they have not only clinical skills but can also respond to the social and cultural needs and contexts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities. Like most professions, they work across the health sector, including in specialist roles. They work in generalist primary health care, community health and health promotion/education roles, and in specialty fields such as maternal and child health, alcohol and other drugs, justice health, social and emotional wellbeing, and ear and hearing health. They are trained to work autonomously or as a part of a multi-disciplinary team using primary health care principles. They have access to a few primary health care MBS items if working for an eligible employer.

b. How did you show that you value and respect Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait people? Provide at least two examples.

  • Language: Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people do not speak English as their first language. Some also speak English in different dialects such as Kriol, Aboriginal English, and Torres Strait Creole. Some general tips to overcome language barriers that I used may include: Avoid using complex words, explain why you need to ask any questions., always check you understood the meaning of words the person has used and vice versa, use diagrams, models, dads and images to explain concepts, instructions and terms, be cautious about using traditional languages or creole words unless you have excellent understanding. If required, seek help from local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.
  • Silence: In Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, extended periods of silence during conversations are considered the ‘norm’ and are valued. Silent pauses are used to listen, show respect or consensus. The positive use of silence should not be misinterpreted as lack of understanding, agreement, or urgent concerns. Observe both the silence and body language to gauge when it is appropriate to start speaking. Be respectful and provide the person with adequate time. Seek clarification that what was asked or discussed was understood.

c. How culturally competent was the selected workplace concerning Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait people? Give a reason for your ratings.

The organisation that I selected is very competent in terms of cultural differences and possible issues. For example, they have an extended policies and procedures that guide the communication with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, at the same time they have been fully trained to be skilled enough to stablish relations with ATSI people.

At the same time, they have a multi-disciplinary team which brings to the organisation a multicultural environment and specialised people to understand different needs from different perspectives, not just the western one.

d. How do you think your ability to build professional relationships with your colleagues and clients encourages a culturally safe work environment for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait people? Why is this important?

My ability to build professional relationships with my colleagues and clients it is very important and encourage a culturally safe work environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait people because this relationship is based on respect and understanding. So, it means that no matters your background, beliefs, values, traditions, language spoken I will treat that person in a very respectfully way, being as understanding as I can and maintain a good and sincerely communication that allows me to express what I am feeling, what I think and what I want.

So, if you keep a good and respectful communication, plus maintaining the principles that were mentioned before, the environment in your work place will be safe and you can build up healthy relationships with your peers and your clients.

a. What is one limitation or barrier you feel you have when working with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait people? What strategies can you use to remove that barrier or address the limitation?

The limitation I think may affect my performance is the barrier language because the main language that ATSI people speak is not English, many of them lave learnt through the years, but the accent and some words I might not know, so I need to use simple language, speak slow, and ask them again if I do not understand something. Also it will be very useful if I can use signs and images if necessary.

b. Concerning Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait people, what frameworks, approaches and instruments were used in the selected workplace not only to champion human rights but to also adhere to legislative, ethical requirements and to make it safe for all? In your response, ensure you are also referring to frameworks and procedures that deal with discriminatory practices and behaviours.

Their vision and their values follow are founded on the cultural and spiritual teachings of their past and present leaders, which best serves their members in their important role in achieving physical, social, cultural and emotional wellbeing for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

For example, their values are consistent with those passed on to us by the ancestors:

  • Cultural integrity
  • Cultural respect
  • The importance of connection to community
  • Strong leadership
  • Resilience and determination
  • Honesty and transparency
  • Dedication and passion
  • Commitment to quality workforce and service delivery
  • Diplomacy and sensitivity.

Also, NATSIHWA acknowledge and pay respect to Elders past, present and future, and the Traditional Owners of this land which continues to be under their ongoing custodianship.

Additionally, they pursue and strategic direction:

To improve understanding in the health system of the role, scope and effective deployment of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners, as a vital and valued component of a strong professional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce needed to close the gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association (NATSIHWA) is the peak body for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners in Australia. It was established in 2009, following the Australian Government’s announcement of funding to strengthen the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce as part of its ‘Closing the Gap’ initiative.

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