PROMOTE ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER CULTURAL SAFETY

PROMOTE ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER CULTURAL SAFETY

Table of contents
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Introduction 4

Part A: Gathering knowledge about Torres Strait Islander people 4

Question 1: One significant issue of Awabakal people 4

Question 2: Description of Terra Nullius and marking out its effect on Torres Strait Islander people 4

Question 3 (a): Major findings of the report presented by Australian Human Rights Commission in 1997 5

Question 3 (b): Explaining social, political, economic impact of the findings on Aboriginal people 5

Question 4: Describing the event of 13th February 2008 6

Gauging the impacts of this event on Aboriginal groups 6

Question 5: Brief explanation of the barriers faced by Aboriginal people while placing their children in early childcare 7

Question 6 (a): Listing three factors behind the ill health and common diseases of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people 8

Question 6 (b): Discussing one of the above factors and its impact on the decision-making process 9

Question 7: Racial discrimination: A concept and legislation related to the same in Australia 9

Question 8: ‘Cultural safety’ and its concept 9

Question 9: 5 practices to be used in early childhood care for maintaining cultural safety 10

Question 10: Scenario 11

(a) Local services available 11

b) The process of sharing information 11

c) Practices that can be used to support effective partnerships with aboriginal people 11

d) Information to be gathered from Daniel and assist with Zac’s transition 12

e) Area/Standard/Element from the National Quality Standard to show how this orientation of the procedure would meet quality standards 12

Part B: Cultural competence 12

Question 1: Concept of culture 12

Question 2: The area of developing cultural values, beliefs, and biases 13

Question 3: Skills, attributes to be considered while reflecting on own cultural competence 13

Question 4: Suggesting three ways to develop your own cultural competence 70 13

Part C: Experiences to support cultural identity 13

Creating an environment to support the children’s cross-cultural understandings 13

Supporting the implementation of inclusive learning experience 14

Supporting the children in developing confidence and strength in their personal and Cultural Identity 14

Conclusion 14

References 15

Appendix 1: Barriers or facilitators faced by aboriginal people for early child care services 18

Introduction

The concept of cultural safety dates back to the 1980s which were developed for enhancing the stances to empower Aboriginal people and develop meaningful pathways for their self-determinism. The debate of cultural safety revolves around the short term, cost-effective and quick fix approaches for indigenous issues. In order to dive deep into the perspective of health and education of indigenous people, a concept of cultural safety cannot be ignored and has been a core focus of this study.

The study focuses on the deep aspects of the problems faced by indigenous people and possible recommendations to address those. Further, the study has delved into case studies and has suggested possible recommendations.

Part A: Gathering knowledge about Torres Strait Islander people

Question 1: One significant issue of Awabakal people

Awabakal people have a significant and historical issue over the land claims, which sustained till the present times. Awabakal people and the other natives of Australia is having a significant conflict over the area of Maitland of Hornsby. The claim which dates back to a decade, if approved can be drastic for the nation as any developmental process can be conducted in that area with the permission of Awabakal groups (Anaya, 2015). As per the reports of ABC news, Wonarua and Worimi tribe also claims this piece of land as one of their previous hunting grounds, for which they would also lodge their claim over this land. Individual groups would need to prove their background or descendant to gain control over the land (McGlade, 2017).

Question 2: Description of Terra Nullius and marking out its effect on Torres Strait Islander people

The Terra Nullius marked its foothold in the year 1788, for which Australia was treated as a colony of settlement. Following the concept of Terra Nullius, the land or territory of Australia was taken away by the Britishers as the land belonged to no one (Terra Nullius). This led to drastic effects on the aboriginal people, one of which is the loss of identities and home. Many people were eradicated from their houses by the Britishers, which led to family detachments. Even many people today from the group of Aboriginal people do not have any idea about their belonging; several children are left homeless and detached from their families till now (Treloar et al. 2014).

Question 3 (a): Major findings of the report presented by Australian Human Rights Commission in 1997

“Bringing them home” is the report based on the national inquiry for the separation of children from their families and focuses on the active recommendations for them. One of the key recommendations provided in this report was to pass an issue of reporting including an apology for treating family detachments. As per the reports, one in every three children was detached from their families and was placed in institutions, churches and fosters homes, for which they were at risk of physical abuse. Welfare officials failed in their duty to protect children from abuse. Moreover, indigenous children were 6 times more likely to be removed from child welfare lessons and 21 times more likely to be removed from juvenile detention reasons. About 54 recommendations have been developed by this report, the most highlighted is the issue of reparation report (as per the reports of Humanrights.gov.au, 1997).  

Question 3 (b): Explaining social, political, economic impact of the findings on Aboriginal people

Just after the passage of this report, there were traumatic reactions from people, especially aboriginal groups. As per the Article 31 of this report, rights of self-determinism have been provided to the indigenous people, which also mention that they have rights to govern their local matters. Moreover, children detached for their families named as the “Stolen Generation”, who would have the right to determine their own activities. Aboriginal people would also be able to access over every service as per their choice (Hall & Fenelon, 2015). Political spectrum of the nation has chosen the stances of dignity, hope, and respect to maintain a relationship with the aboriginal people. A socioeconomic crisis was also recognized in the report, which showed that children from the stolen generation received a proper education and thus a program namely “Move ahead” has been launched for educating them and monetary compensation has been provided (Razack, 2015). However, as per the reports of ABC news, even after such rigorous proposals made in the “Bring them home” report about anti-racism activities, Australia tends to continue the practices of racism even now and the rate of experiencing racial behavior went up from 31% to 45% (Wood, 2016).

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/5oQtnWL7_kEgZpq_N93YrLASt64Sbt_F2Cqy-cJI-N2SfZXF_IxmNb2u6XbqjqZo0RYAvc6NFA5DDnbDGra44anzuKe7_u6wAOpMKvLDkj0fu3NhdeysUoacxG6kjOrf0WLeMOmu

Figure 1: Rise of racial behavior even after rights of self-determinism

(Source: Wood, 2016)

Question 4: Describing the event of 13th February 2008

On 13th February 2008, the nation was moved with the tears of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, which is historically remembered as the “apology day for the stolen generations”. After the delivered reports of “Bringing them home”, finally the Prime Minister said “Sorry” to the lost and deprived people. The day is still celebrated as the “National apology day” in Australia (Waamh.org.au, 2017).

Gauging the impacts of this event on Aboriginal groups

Hearing finally an apology for the policy implemented on social media was an utter satisfactory state for the aboriginals. The apology followed a proposal for closing the gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people of Australia and develops welfare policies for them. This led to the development of mutual respect among all the people considering aboriginal people as the prior concern (Treloar et al. 2014, p.370).  

However, as per the reports of The Guardian, the factual reality does not reflect the proposed changes in the “apology day”. As of 2017, 81.4% of indigenous expenditures were actually used for mainstream purposes. It also has been outlined that among 339 recommendations by the Royal Commission, only 10 recommendations have been used till now from 1991 (Theguardian.com, 2017).

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Figure 2: Developmental procedures proposed vs. the number of processes used till now

(Source: Theguardian.com, 2017)

Question 5: Brief explanation of the barriers faced by Aboriginal people while placing their children in early childcare

Some of the significant barriers faced by early childhood care for participating in early childhood care are the location of care centers, cost of access; culture and communication (refer to appendix 1).

Location

Most of the services were present in the mainstream areas consisting mainstream people, where the potential barrier was the access to the care center via transport mediums. Due to cost and accessibility, aboriginal families refrained from taking early childhood care services (Barnhardt, 2014).

Cost

According to Barnhardt (2014), due to poor economic conditions of aboriginal people, families faced hardships to opt for early child care services. It has also been ascertained that majority of indigenous people had to the idea of child care funding initiatives or services.

Culture and communication

As stated earlier, most of the early childhood care services were provided by mainstream people, which obviously had a higher chance of cultural clashes. Moreover, mainstream people also faced hardship to educate Aboriginal people due to communication differences, which also acted as a barrier (Parker & Milroy, 2014).

Question 6 (a): Listing three factors behind the ill health and common diseases of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people

Socioeconomic factors

Less than half of the Aboriginal people have actually attended the higher level education due to the financial crisis. Due to lack of people education, most of the people do not even know about the early diagnosis, which eventually leads to a health crisis. The employment rate of the remote areas was of 43% as of 2016 and the very remote area was as low as 32%, which obviously is a potential reason behind the health crisis of aboriginal people (Smylie & Firestone, 2016).

Remoteness

Remote areas of Australia have a problem, of poor healthcare access and poor behavior towards the people of remote areas. As per the indications of WHO, poor health and ill practices increased with the remoteness of the areas, which signify the barrier clearly. Moreover, longer waiting time in healthcare centers and poor behavior towards the people living in the remote areas also fuel up the position of health crisis among Aboriginals (Bennett, 2015).

Nutrition

An environmental health survey conducted within 2007 to 2008, showed that almost 62% people had limited or no access to fresh foods, which has been strictly advised by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for daily diet. Moreover, the saturated fats consumed by the groups to meet their hunger led to the development of Type 2 Diabetes by 3.5% and 5.7% deaths (Humanrights.gov.au, 2017).

Question 6 (b): Discussing one of the above factors and its impact on the decision-making process

Remoteness is the most impactful factor for the health crisis of the Aboriginals as even after discounted or costless services, there has been limited considerations for setting healthcare facilities in the very remote areas. Moreover, the news of racist behaviors even in healthcare centers is common, which allegedly provoke indigenous groups to refrain from taking services and influence their decisions. Furthermore, the news report by ABC showed that systemic risk is traumatic and tends to exist strongly in the healthcare centers. Almost 56% deaths occurred in the mental care centers due to ill and torturous treatments towards them, which have strike terror in the minds of Aboriginal people (McGlade, 2017).

Question 7: Racial discrimination: A concept and legislation related to the same in Australia

Racial discrimination is simply the act of discriminatory practices based on race, color, descent and ethnic origin. As per Human rights commission, Australia is home to more than 270 ancestries, which contribute to the diversity of the nation and is also the reason behind immense racist practices within the nation. Racial Discrimination Act 1975 is one of the statutes passed by the Australian parliament to promote equality within the nation and the Section 18C of this legislation makes it unlawful to carry out insulting practices in public and provide a right to common public for making complaints against unlawful practices (Humanrights.gov.au, 2017).  

Question 8: ‘Cultural safety’ and its concept

Cultural safety, a term coined by Williams in 1999, was defined as the environment that is spiritual, emotionally and socially safe. The concept of cultural safety also signifies the physically safe environment for common masses where there would be no physical assaults, demeaning activities, and denial of identity. The framework of cultural safety was directed for the benefit of individuals and proper health care services for indigenous people and Maori groups (Bennett, 2015). As per the mentions of Millei & Jones (2014), in case of aboriginal people, it is also the practice of overcoming the cultural imbalances of a nation and frame out effective policies to mitigate cultural issues for developing the continuum of care towards them. The importance of cultural safety in cases of aboriginal groups lies in the areas of a burden of illness of this group. Additionally, Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders, instances of racism and discriminations are very common leading to their health crisis, for which the concept of cultural safety is a necessary concept.  

Question 9: 5 practices to be used in early childhood care for maintaining cultural safety

Five practices to be used by early childhood care for cultural safety

Cultural safety is an environment where the children feel safe because of the environment devoid of assault and challenge. Cultural safety promotes mutual respect, learning, and cooperation among the children so, that they can live a healthy life at the later stage. Five practices that are used in early childhood for cultural safety are discussed below:

Communication and cooperation; The children must be taught to communicate with their elders softly and gently. On the other hand, the children must be taught to cooperate with the inmates in any situation.

Respect to the culture: From early childhood, the children must be taught to respect each other’s culture in order to preserve the cultural identity.

Maintain dignity: Children must be taught to promote equality for protecting their cultural identity.

Learning techniques: The children must be taught by using the integrated teaching techniques in order to make the teaching more effective to the students.

Continuous care: The children must be given proper care by the family members in order to promote mental, physical and social growth.  

Question 10: Scenario

(a) Local services available

From the portrayals of Razack (2015), it can be mentioned that basic healthcare facilities are available for Wiradjuri people who constitute Aboriginal health unit at Mumbridge Local health unit, which provides services to both patients and their family members during their stay at the healthcare service. Wiradjuri preschool and childcare center is also wearing its name proudly for offering child care services with effective implementation of National Quality Standards (NQS), which can be taken up for Zac and his three siblings. Moreover, the language program offered by local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) also is a significant service offered by local authorities under the NQS framework (Earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au, 2017).

b) The process of sharing information

A database of education programs can be considered by the healthcare officials, which can be applied to convey the information about healthcare facilities to the aboriginal groups or people residing in a particular area. Engagement of culturally competent educators can be taken into account for mitigating any miscommunication issues and behavioral guidelines from Quality area 6 of NQS must be considered to develop a blissful communication of strategies (Salamon et al. 2016). These processes can also be obtained in case of Daniel and his family.

c) Practices that can be used to support effective partnerships with aboriginal people

Create an engaging first impression

Collaborative relationships with families develop over time but the very first approach towards families determines the strength of partnership in future. Therefore, the way families are welcomed into a service plays a key role to build effective partnerships with them. A respectful approach towards families has been instructed to be followed by Quality area 6 of the National Quality Standard (Acecqa.gov.au, 2016).

Value each other’s role in a child’s development

Both parents and carers in child care centers are responsible for the development of a child, for which the role of each party must be valued. This practice can be developed in accordance with the Standard 6.2 of NQS, which says that the role of families in child care must be supported and their values or beliefs must be respected (Acecqa.gov.au, 2016).

Create a shared platform for the decision-making process

According to the element 6.1.2 of standard 6.1, individual families must be involved in the decision-making process and their insights may be taken for developing any program for the children (Acecqa.gov.au, 2016).

d) Information to be gathered from Daniel and assist with Zac’s transition

According to the guidance of Australian Government, possible information that can be gathered is;

  • A child’s mood or behavior (Here Zac’s information can be taken from Daniel)
  • Display of child’s (Zac’s) work
  • Any special interest of the child (Zac)
  • Skills and dislikes of the child (Zac)

This information would be shared with the management or educators in order to develop competent programs for the child.

e) Area/Standard/Element from the National Quality Standard to show how this orientation of the procedure would meet quality standards

Quality Area 6 of NQS generally talks about the respectful relationships to be developed with aboriginal families, which can be oriented in case of early child care centers (Acecqa.gov.au, 2016).

Part B: Cultural competence

Question 1: Concept of culture

Culture is the social behavioral aspects found in human societies. It is simply the way of life which is led by people around different nations. Culture is the central concept of anthropology, which encompasses the phenomenon of social learning in human societies. Some of the expressive aspects of culture are art, dance, rituals, and technologies which distinguish one culture from another (ECA Learning Hub, 2012).

Question 2: The area of developing cultural values, beliefs, and biases

Early childhood care is one of the areas to develop cultural values and beliefs as per the video portrayal. The depictions of this file also showed that if children are mixed up with their cultures from an early stage, they learn better about other traditions and respect them (ECA Learning Hub, 2012).

Question 3: Skills, attributes to be considered while reflecting on own cultural competence

A child must have knowledge of own culture and their background history and must know the importance of the second language was required to reflect on own cultural competence (ECA Learning Hub, 2012).

Question 4: Suggesting three ways to develop your own cultural competence 70

According to the EYLF curriculum of Belonging, becoming and being cultural competence can be developed by;

  • Knowing primarily about own culture
  • Respecting the identity of others by communicating with them or getting mixed with them on a regular basis
  • Information on personal tradition or culture must be shared with the educators to develop a sense of belonging (ECA Learning Hub, 2012)

Part C: Experiences to support cultural identity

Creating an environment to support the children’s cross-cultural understandings

As David is a Sudanese boy and enjoys music very much, a learning program can be created with a musical environment. For an instance, Wiradjuri Centre utilizes the song of Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody to provide an insight of racial inequality as well as its impact on the children. This would not only provide a comfortable position for Daniel but also provide cultural understanding to other children (Earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au, 2017).

Supporting the implementation of inclusive learning experience

This program can be effectively implemented with the help of NQS standards and EYLF curriculum (Earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au, 2017)

Supporting the children in developing confidence and strength in their personal and Cultural Identity

As David’s strength lies in the music and drumming, his cultural competence, as well as confidence, can be developed by making him participate in music classes in accordance to his own language (taking views from Smylie & Firestone, 2016)

Conclusion

Aboriginal people and their rights tend to be a persisting issue for a long time even after rigorous policies, promises, and initiatives. From the study, it can be mentioned that a vulnerable event in the lives of aboriginal people more than a decade ago for Terra Nullius struck terror into their hearts. Children were detached from their families and lost their identity, for which they are still referred to as “Stolen Generations”. Even after an apology from the Prime Minister in 2008, the situation did not alter and tend to be the same. As of recent scenario, Australian Government has developed a curriculum named EYLF considering the norm of Being, Belonging and Becoming, which can be applied in the early child care centres.

References

Books

Hall, T. D., & Fenelon, J. V. (2015). Indigenous peoples and globalization: Resistance and revitalization. Abingdon: Routledge.

Razack, S. (2015). Dying from improvement: Inquests and inquiries into Indigenous deaths in custody. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Journals

Anaya, S. J. (2015). Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Situation of Maori People in New Zealand. Ariz. J. Int’l & Comp. L., 32(2), 1-90.

Barnhardt, R. (2014). Creating a place for indigenous knowledge in education. Place-based education in the global age: Local diversity, 113(3), 90-167.

Bennett, B. (2015). “Stop deploying your white privilege on me!” Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement with the Australian Association of Social Workers. Australian Social Work68(1), 19-31.

Bennett, B. (2015). “Stop deploying your white privilege on me!” Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement with the Australian Association of Social Workers. Australian Social Work68(1), 19-31.

Bowen, A., Duncan, V., Peacock, S., Bowen, R., Schwartz, L., Campbell, D., & Muhajarine, N. (2014). Mood and anxiety problems in perinatal Indigenous women in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States: A critical review of the literature. Transcultural psychiatry51(1), 93-111.

Millei, Z., & Jones, A. (2014). The Australian early childhood curriculum and a cosmopolitan imaginary. International Journal of Early Childhood46(1), 63-79.

Parker, R., & Milroy, H. (2014). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health: an overview. Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice2, 25-38.

Salamon, A., Sumsion, J., Press, F., & Harrison, L. (2016). Implicit theories and naïve beliefs: Using the theory of practice architectures to deconstruct the practices of early childhood educators. Journal of Early Childhood Research14(4), 431-443.

Smylie, J., & Firestone, M. (2016). The health of indigenous peoples. D. Raphael (3rd ed.) Social determinants of health: Canadian perspective, 434-469.

Sumsion, J., Grieshaber, S., McArdle, F., & Shield, P. (2014). The’state of play’in Australia: Early childhood educators and play-based learning. Australasian journal of early childhood39(3), 4-18.

Treloar, C., Gray, R., Brener, L., Jackson, C., Saunders, V., Johnson, P., … & Newman, C. (2014). “I can’t do this, it’s too much”: building social inclusion in cancer diagnosis and treatment experiences of Aboriginal people, their carers and health workers. International journal of public health, 59(2), 373-379.

Zamarayeva, Y. S., Kistova, A. V., Pimenova, N. N., Reznikova, K. V., & Seredkina, N. N. (2015). Taymyr reindeer herding as a branch of the economy and a fundamental social identification practice for indigenous peoples of the Siberian Arctic. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences6(3 S5), 225.

Websites

Acecqa.gov.au. (2016). Retrieved on: 25th October, 2017, from: http://files.acecqa.gov.au/files/QualityInformationSheets/QualityArea6/QualityArea6BuildingPartnershipsWithFamilies.pdf

Earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au. (2017). Retrieved on: 24th December 2017, from: http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/nqsplp/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/NQS_PLP-CS1_Aboriginal_and_Torres_Strait_Islander_cultures_in_ECEC.pdf

ECA Learning Hub. (2012). TAPS_Cultural competency Part 1 of 3. Retrieved on: 24th December 2017, from: https://vimeo.com/42742542

Humanrights.gov.au. (1997). Bringing them home. https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/content/pdf/social_justice/bringing_them_home_report.pdf

Humanrights.gov.au. (2017). A quick guide to Australian discrimination laws. Retrieved on: 26th September, 2017, from: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/employers/good-practice-good-business-factsheets/quick-guide-australian-discrimination-laws

Humanrights.gov.au. (2017). Face the facts: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Retrieved on: 25th September, 2017, from: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/education/face-facts/face-facts-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-peoples

Theguardian.com. (2017). Australian governments have failed Indigenous peoples, says Oxfam. Retrieved on: 26th September, 2017, from: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/apr/12/australian-governments-have-failed-indigenous-peoples-says-oxfam

Waamh.org.au. (2017). Significant dates and events for Aboriginal peoples. Retrieved on: 25th September, 2017, from: https://waamh.org.au/development-and-training/aboriginal-engagement/significant-dates-and-events

News websites

McGlade, H. (2017). Australia is still fighting racism and it’s time we faced up to it. ABC News. Retrieved on: 25th September, 2017, from: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-27/australias-race-relations-will-be-examined-by-un-in-geneva/9198272

Wood, P. (2016). Australia becoming ‘a more racist country’, survey finds. Retrieved on: 28th September, 2017, from: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-09/australia-is-becoming-a-more-racist-country-survey/8254592

Appendix 1: Barriers or facilitators faced by aboriginal people for early child care services

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/iuAWyzehS5gFTpvaOFAeguizZ0d0CLlWv61B0TBQhuFW8vfAb-gyykVJrhPF_rgh1DdZIv8inr1C4OtKoAYX5Zb5HOess18JJD9ry6QMEy3bkWlFV7vQKfTS7gXAObLpu5lJm6tu

(Source: Waamh.org.au, 2017)