Since 2012 INW PCP has conducted a range of initiatives (through Closing the Health Gap and Koolin Balit funding rounds) to support partner organisations to provide culturally responsive and respectful services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
The INW PCP convenes a local Wellbeing Partnership which meets regularly to share information, resources, and project updates. The partnership is made up of Aboriginal and non-indigenous representatives from across the North and West Metropolitan Region. The group is an important sounding board for the INW PCP led initiatives and a source of advice for resource development, training and projects.
The INW PCP in collaboration with the Wellbeing Partnership implemented the following workforce initiatives:
Aboriginal people working in mainstream organisations report that they are still regularly exposed to culturally based hazards. These hazards impact their personal health and wellbeing and undermine their ability to support their community.
The Working in Two Worlds initiative aims to assist mainstream organisations become more accessible, culturally safe and appropriate for Aboriginal people by supporting the recruitment and retention of the local Aboriginal workforce.
A Working in Two Worlds Forum was held in 2017 with over 60 Aboriginal people employed in mainstream organisations. The participants shared their thoughts, concerns and ideas about how mainstream health and community service sector work impacts them and how employers can more effectively support Aboriginal workers.
The feedback from Working in Two Worlds Forum participants, alongside an examination of current policy frameworks, helped to inform the From Symbols to Systems Framework which was launched in December 2017.
The From Symbols to Systems Framework enables whole-of-organisation protocols and strategies that place culturally informed values at the centre of service development and delivery which go beyond cultural awareness training and organisational audits. It identifies strategies to support mainstream organisations to provide services that meet the needs of their Aboriginal clients and minimise the impact of culturally based hazards on their Aboriginal staff.
The From Symbols to Systems Framework is being piloted by member organisations in mid -2018.
In June 2018, INW PCP won a HART award (VLGA and Reconciliation Victoria) for the Working in Two Worlds Initiative.
The Koolin Balit Building the Blocks of Organisational Cultural Responsiveness Toolkit provides member organisations with resources to support:
The NWMR PCP Consortium commissioned two external evaluations over the life of the Koolin Balit funding which included the INW PCP led component. The evaluation reported that the project has increased the capacity of mainstream service providers and their workforce to engage with and meet the needs of Aboriginal people.
For further information or to participate in this project please contact the INW PCP Executive Officer, Emma Fitzsimon on 9389 2261 or by email Emmafi@inwpcp.org.au