NAIDOC Week: Working towards a culturally safe Yooralla

NAIDOC week 2023

NAIDOC Week (2-9 July) is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on Earth.

This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is ‘For Our Elders’, honouring their important role in the community as cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, advocates, teachers, survivors, leaders, hard workers and loved ones.

Learn more about this year’s NAIDOC Week theme.

NAIDOC Week serves as a platform for Indigenous communities to showcase their traditions, language, music, dance, and art forms, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of their unique heritage.

It is marked by a series of activities, including cultural performances, art exhibitions, sports competitions, community gatherings, and educational programs. Find a NAIDOC Week event near you.

Working towards a culturally safe Yooralla

We are on an ongoing journey as an organisation to ensure that our sites and services are culturally safe for all First Nations clients and employees. To this end, our Senior Leadership Team (SLT) recently participated in the ‘Working in Two World’s’ training.

“These sessions that were facilitated by the Avaivilla Group…are one small step towards understanding how our organisation can increasingly become one where First Nations co-workers are comfortable to work in, where they can thrive and feel valued,” said Elouise Holmes, Chief Development Officer.

“There were so many learnings and insights from the sessions. The layers that build towards cultural safety – cultural openness, humility, awareness, sensitivity and responsiveness – were important and practical concepts that we learned about and that we can apply to how we work at Yooralla,” said Elouise.

One of the valuable insights taken away from the sessions was understanding how First Nations coworkers might be experiencing the burden of working in two worlds, and what we can do to support them.

“They are often solo workers and can be at risk of having too much to do, so our reliance on them as the brokers between our organisation and the community needs to be well balanced,” said Elouise.

“They have responsibilities within their community and cultural obligations that we need to be aware of as well, along with roles they may have in their community that may be different to the role they have in organisations.”

The sessions provided valuable insight into how to improve our workplace practices and systems that impact our cultural safety.

“I very much enjoyed taking the time for yarning and being given the time and space to engage in it as an activity with my fellow senior leaders,” said Elouise.

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