About the Workshop
The Working Together: Journey Toward Cultural Competence With Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples workshop was developed by 18 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander psychologists who worked collectively to develop it in 2010.
The workshop is owned and delivered by the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association.
The workshop aims to provide non-Indigenous mental health practitioners with the cultural competence required to deliver services within a social and emotional wellbeing framework and to accommodate the social and historical determinants when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The key domains of competence addressed during workshops are:
- Understanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander concepts of social and emotional wellbeing;
- Recognise and work with risk and protective factors for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional wellbeing;
- Practice within a social and emotional wellbeing framework and accommodate the social determinants;
- Understand cultural competence as it relates to working with the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures & peoples;
- Understand the impact of colonization on the social and emotional wellbeing and mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
- Understanding the influence of the social determinants on mental health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Evidence has been gathered which demonstrates all who attend the workshop make gains against these domains of competence.
Who should attend?
Non-Indigenous members of the mental health workforce: psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health nurses, social workers and mental health trained occupational therapists. The workshop has also been found to be effective with General Practitioners (GP), administrators, substance abuse workers and welfare workers.
How many attend each workshop?
Each workshop accepts between twelve and twenty participants.
Participants are provided with a workbook that contains the evidence that underpins the workshop and an USB which contains an electronic copy of the Working Together book and other key references.
So far, more than 900 participants have agreed:
- Their expectations of the workshop were met
- The content was relevant and easy to understand
- They will be able to apply the information in their workplace
Participants have identified the following strengths in the workshop:
- High quality facilitation by Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander psychologists
- Open, respectful environment created during workshops
- Interactive nature of workshop & variety of teaching strategies used
- Underpinning knowledge, content & structure of workshop Input from
- Elders & guest speakers
The Working Together: Journey Toward Cultural Competence With Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples workshop is underpinned by the nine Guiding Principles from Ways Forward, National Consultancy Report on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health (Swan and Raphael, 1995) and the National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Social and Emotional Well Being 2004-2009 (Social Health Reference Group, 2004).
The workshop is supported by the Working Together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and Practice book edited by Nola Purdie, Pat Dudgeon and Roz Walker (2010) and published by the Department of Health and Ageing.
The workshop was independently evaluated by Dr Roz Walker in 2010, who found:
‘The evaluation findings confirm that the AIPA workshop...has been able to successfully integrate cultural competence as a crucial component of effective professional practice’ (Walker, 2010, p12). The workshop supports/refers to several national policy frameworks. This ‘contributes to the worth and overall effectiveness of the workshop as a mechanism to support the effective implementation of a raft of policies where it is well recognised that there is currently a gap. It is at this meta-level that the AIPA Cultural Competence workshop makes an important contribution to system level change’ (Ibid, p71).