Aboriginal Worldview

Report
Do You See What I See?
An Exploration of the Delivery of Child
Protection, Child Health and Primary
Educational Services to Aboriginal People in
the Perth Metropolitan and Geraldton Regions
CDRCN National Conference
Fredericton 2012
Glenn Pearson
Telethon Institute for Child Health Research
Acknowledgement of Country
Geraldton
Perth
Western Australian State Government Aboriginal
Affairs Policies
(1829- 2012)
SELF
EXCLUSION,
CULTURAL
SELF CONTROL
RESPONSIBILITY *
PROTECTION
ABSORPTION
DETERMINATION
2004
AND
1940s
1970s
SEGREGATION
PRE 1905
SELF
ASSIMILATION
INTEGRATION
MANAGEMENT
AND CONTROL
1960s
1980-90s
1905
* Current Australian Government Policy
Research Focus
National
State
Local
Education, Health, Child Protection
Wadjella
Perceptions experiences,
attitudes, values
Aboriginal
Research Governance
Critical Thinkers
Group
State Government Interagency
Group
Steering
Group
20
Community Research
Partners
Geraldton
10
20
Rockingham
12
Fremantle
12
Midland
Joondalup
Study One Findings
Themes that have been
identified.
Aboriginal Responses
Living in a dominate culture Life experiences of growing up outside the mainstream,
feeling different and being treated differently,
generational change, there are common experiences but
there are distinctly individual experiences that have
shaped the person.
Perceptions of self
Attitudes
Beliefs
Values
Experiences - Influences
Very much an us and them framing of these, strong
commonality on a range of issues
Perceptions of Other
Appear to be very aware of the other, is compelled to
(Othering)
engage on a daily basis to get needs met, treat them as
Aboriginal’s not people, racist, controlling,
Wadjella Responses
Life experiences of growing up within the mainstream,
predominately unaware of own culture as a distinct
entity but living under the values of this culture e.g.
work ethic, getting on with it, limited experience with
and of knowledge of Aboriginal people and history,
Attitudes
Beliefs
Values
Experiences - Influences
Diverse set of responses with some commonality,
especially as government workers
Appear to be aware of the other but not confident of
this, don’t understand why infighting and feuding,
violence, poor choices, scared about being called a
racist/racism,
Broad range of issues; service models, time, pressure,
managing risk, limited resources, staff turnover, policies
that don’t work, programs that don’t work, issues that
affect Aboriginal families, outside their role/function or
too big for them.
Broad range of issues: capacity of client, complexity of
issues that present in these families,
Study One Findings
Factors that Affect Service
Delivery/Provision
Broad range of issues: inappropriate service models,
disconnected from Aboriginal community, not the right
type of staff, feel they dehumanise them,
communication is problematic,
Factors that Affect Service
Receiving
Broad range of issues: not knowing about what was
available, history with government,
Solutions to Increase
Service Delivery/Receiving
Capacity
Education, training, employment of Aboriginal people,
Education in schools, training in University and on the
job, employment of Aboriginal people,
Wadjella Worldview
Community
Government
Department
Workplace
Role
Self
Aboriginal Worldview
Broader Community
Aboriginal Community
Family
Self
Study Two Findings
Themes that have been
identified.
Relationships
Knowledge of Aboriginal
history and culture
Personal Experience,
Attitudes and Values
Perception of the other –
responses to a person’s
Aboriginality
Aboriginal Responses
Wadjella Responses
Types of Relationships/Characteristics of relationships
Process for establishing relationships with Aboriginal
clients
Client Related Factors that influenced establishing and
maintaining relationships
Level of knowledge and experience of Aboriginal history
and culture
Understanding of culture and its functions in society
Understanding of Australian Culture
Types of Relationships/Characteristics of relationships
Process for establishing relationships with Aboriginal
clients
Worker Related Factors that influenced establishing and
maintaining relationships
Level of Knowledge and experience of Aboriginal history
and culture
Understanding of culture and its functions in society
Understanding of Australian Culture
Personal opinions and philosophies clearly influence
client behaviour
Broad reaction to the provision of targeted or specific
services or programs for Aboriginal people
Family has been significant in influencing participant
attitudes towards Aboriginal people
Highly contested space
Process of identifying or confirming if someone is
Aboriginal
Awareness of images and stereotypes of Aboriginal
people
Language used to describe Aboriginal people
Knowing that the other person was Aboriginal
influenced the way that they interacted with that
person
Some felt that too much was made of a person’s
Aboriginality.
worker practice
Broad reaction to the provision of targeted or specific
services or programs for Aboriginal people
Family has been significant in influencing participant
attitudes towards Aboriginal people
Highly contested space
Process of identifying or confirming if someone is
Aboriginal
Images and stereotypes of Aboriginal people
Language used to describe Aboriginal people
Most stated that it did not influence or change the way
that they interacted with Aboriginal people – but clearly it
does.
Some felt that too much was made of a person’s
Aboriginality.
Study Two Findings
Personal opinions and philosophies clearly influence
Study Two Findings
Themes that have been
identified.
Aboriginal Responses
Wadjella Responses
Perceptions of the other –
Being a Government
worker
Aboriginal Principle – Treat Everybody As You Want To Be
Treated
Public Servant Principle – Treating Everybody the Same
Perceptions of the other Fear of being called a
racist - Racism
There wasn’t a clear definition of what racism or being racist
is across the responses given
Racism is an everyday part of Aboriginal life commencing early
in their lives
Factors that Affect Service
Delivery/Provision and
Service Receiving
Worker capacity and willingness (compliance and resistance)
Client capacity and willingness (compliance and resistance)
Successful examples
Responses were varied with few clear examples
Service Features – employing the right person for the job,
outreach services, Aboriginal staff are able to work blackfella
way, programs that provide practical skills to families,
culturally safe services, capacity of worker to respond to
clients needs
Examples of specific programs or approaches – sport, music,
consumer advocacy, two laws approach to justice
There wasn’t a clear definition of what racism or being
racist is across the responses given
Impact of being racially abused by client
Feelings of white guilt
Broad reaction to two sets of rules
Worker capacity and willingness (compliance and
resistance)
Client capacity and willingness (compliance and
resistance)
Self protective behaviour of worker
Responses were varied with few clear examples
Service Features –
Characteristics of Worker Cross cultural training Examples of specific programs or approaches – Sport,
Art , Signs of Safety
Five Major Findings
The colonising project to assimilate Aboriginal people into the mainstream Australian
culture is still ongoing,
Aboriginal people lives are evidence of and Workers are witnesses to the effect of
current and past government policies relating to Aboriginal people,
The Five Big Ticket Items (Findings)
As Aboriginal people are bound within a dominate culture Workers are also bound
within the government systems that require both to be compliant,
The space of engagement between Aboriginal and Wadjellas is highly contested,
highly political and is made more complex with a limited understanding the meaning of
culture and racism and prejudice and,
The individuals personal philosophies and opinions drive their practice as a Worker
and behaviour as a Client.
Acknowledgements
Contact Details
Mr Glenn Pearson
Chief Investigator – Centre of Research Excellence into
Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing
Web:
http://aboriginal.childhealthresearch.org.au/centre-forresearch-excellence-(cre).aspx
Email: [email protected]

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