Cultural competency constancy
BlogCultural competency constancy

An informed and empathetic understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture – and the practice of dadirri - needs to be deeply embedded across our entire organisation for us to be true to our community-led, human-centred approach to solutions development. This embedding of cultural competency is a constant action, and last month EWB Australia staff and Board were privileged to welcome Professor Yin Paradies – one of Australia’s leading experts on race theory, policy and practice - to challenge our racial understandings and assumptions. This full day of training supplemented the efforts of the National EOC Knowledge Hub, who facilitate similar learning opportunities for our volunteer network across Australia.

The training explored the concepts of whiteness and indigeneity and how these inform our experience of the world. We explored concepts from anthropology, social psychology, sociology and critical Indigenous studies that inform policymakers and practitioners. We discussed key debates and current tensions. We unpacked cultural difference and privilege (as they relate to whiteness). We sought to appreciate the various historical and contemporary approaches to defining Indigeneity, and to understanding the range of White responses to cultural difference (and touched in its impact on Indigenous policy and practice). Finally, we discussed the various approaches to Indigenous affairs and opportunities for action.

At a training debrief, each staff member identified an action they would commit to taking to incorporate learnings from this profound training into their professional practice, as well as identified opportunities to do the same at a whole-of-organisation level.

The next stage of this journey will be with the Wurundjeri Woi wurrung Corporation via a two-day training with Wurundjeri Traditional Owners to learn about historical and contemporary land and water management and governance in Melbourne. This approach celebrates the opportunity to learn from and connect with the Traditional Owners of the place we live and work, an opportunity that EWB encourages everyone to take.

Keen to join us on this learning journey? Please reach out the your local EOC focus group via Allan Soo - the Knowledge Hub Secretary - who can assist in arranging cultural awareness training.