Respecting and Acknowledging Aboriginal Community Members

Photo Credit: Artwork by Auntie Kerrie Kenton, a Mudmap of Macquarie University.

Cultural Competency Consultation Workshop – March 2017

Since the release of the Indigenous Strategy 2016-2025, Walanga Muru, our University’s Aboriginal student engagement and strategy office, has had many enquiries regarding the implementation of Aboriginal cultural training for staff. This training will provide staff with the cultural knowledge and perspectives to improve the University’s cultural respect and inclusivity. Walanga Muru has been busily preparing and plans to roll-out training from late 2017.

Staff attend the Cultural Competency Workshop in March, 2017.

Walanga Muru recently conducted an online survey of the University’s cultural understanding and commitment, and followed this with six University-wide consultation workshops to better understand what our cultural training should encompass.

Key themes from the consultation workshops included:

  • Terminology of cultural training is widely debated and requires further discussion with the Aboriginal Community. Many participants voiced views over language such as ‘cultural competency’ and ‘cultural safety’.
  • Cultural training will be multi-faceted, including a preliminary session, augmented by face-to-face sessions, and will then be embedded into curriculum
  • A toolbox of resources for academic staff to support in-classroom discussions was widely agreed to be useful
  • Embedding cultural training into everyday practice, including induction and curriculum design will ensure sustainability and accountability
  • Open days at Walanga Muru will provide an opportunity for new and existing staff to engage with Aboriginal staff and learn more about Aboriginal education

Prior to the release of cultural training for our University, Walanga Muru encourages staff to contact the following staff members:

For queries regarding cultural training – Phil Duncan (Aboriginal Cultural Training Coordinator).

For queries regarding embedding Indigenous knowledges and perspectives into curriculum – Todd Phillips (Indigenous Connected Curriculum Coordinator).

Further reading – Indigenous Strategy Green Paper.