If you’re applying for a role working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it is likely the application may include a cultural diversity selection criterion. In this section, it is important that you highlight your experience working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, while demonstrating your knowledge of relevant historical and contemporary issues. (View our professional selection criteria writing services here).
Here are some examples of how to address this criterion:
Ability to partner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to work to improve outcomes.
I am a member of the Standard 2 ‘Partnering with Consumers’ Quality Improvement Team. Since joining, I have worked to ensure patient feedback forms promote consumer feedback to enable Indigenous consumers to have a say in the way we deliver our service. For example, it was noted by clients that the feedback form was too busy and expected too much writing, and questions were not culturally appropriate. I therefore developed and implemented a new feedback form for our Indigenous patients. To make sure this was culturally appropriate, I consulted extensively with ATSI clients to determine how the form should be improved. The changes included indigenous artwork, translation of the form into two languages (English and creole) and ensuring questions were more focused. As a result, the form was used much more regularly by consumers, providing valuable feedback and enabling us to continue to improve our service delivery.
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Basic knowledge and understanding of aboriginal history and culture.
In my role as an Administrative Officer with the National Native Title Tribunal, I assisted in implementing the terms of native title claims and Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs). This included project management support, overseeing ILUAs from lodgement with the Tribunal to placement upon the ILUA register. Within this role, I have developed strong understanding of indigenous perspectives on land management and indigenous culture. I also provided executive support to Delegates, including reviewing and editing Delegate decisions, including identifying and removing culturally sensitive information before it was published on the Tribunal’s website. This included, for example, removing information about sacred sites, Dreaming or Creation stories not in the public domain. I did this through applying information in policies and procedures, but also from my own knowledge about ATSI culture. I was very effective in this aspect and was recognised for my thorough, respectful approach.
Awareness of and commitment to Council’s obligations under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003.
Having worked extensively in leadership roles in communities with large Indigenous populations, I have developed a thorough understanding of and commitment to Council obligations under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003. For example, before performing earthworks in an undisturbed area, I ensure due diligence is completed to confirm there are no claimants on the area. If there are, I invite them to check the site for any cultural materials. If found, I ensure the works do not proceed in that area.
Demonstrated ability to communicate and work collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to promote positive outcomes within communities.
Having been raised in the Torres Straits, with English as my second language (I speak Kala Lagaw Ya), in various roles I have regularly acted as an intermediary between ATSI clients and other clinicians, senior staff and other services. This has often included translating between languages. In my current role, I have worked with my team leaders and clinical leads in trying to find ways in which I am the first point of contact for our ATSI patients, to ensure our daily practice is aligned with Qld Health- ATSI Cultural Capability Framework 2010-2033 (Making Tracks). Sometimes, ATSI clients have indicated concern about accessing other services or working with other clinicians. I have worked hard to develop their trust, and then clearly explain the role of other workers and services, to help them feel more comfortable. I have also delivered education in cultural capability for non-Indigenous health care staff. As a result, clients have been able to access the services more effectively.
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