Working Effectively With Aboriginal Communities


According to Sarah, (2012), Aboriginal people lived all over Australia before the invasion, the highest population dwelt along the coast. With Aboriginal people, they move seasonally in between stable settlements.  The inland inhabitants living in the deserts and bushes live by gathering and hunting and also burning the brushwood to aid the growth of plants. They are also skilled in search of water.  Currently, a larger part of Aboriginals lives in cities especially on the outskirts in awful situations. The lands belonging to Aboriginal people was stolen and destroyed. This led to a devastating physical and social impact on them (Lingard, 2016).  The invasion led to diseases that murdered thousands of them and others were executed. The downright killings were substituted with policies of separating Aboriginal children from their mothers and fathers and surrendering them to mission schools or white families. This was to eradicate the Aboriginal language and culture. Still, in the present, they face racist approaches and violence incidence especially those in custody of the police. Their poor living standards indicate that Aboriginal people have the highest infant mortality rate and suicidal rate; also they have low expectancy than other population.

Involvement of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander in delivery and planning of programs and services can be encouraged in the following ways; ensuring that the Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people are comfortable with the services offered to them.  Employing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as volunteers or staff encourages the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander locals to access the services easily; also having them in the organization committee will as well motivate them to use the services (Godlewska, 2017). The members of the organization can use Aboriginal sociability recruitment methods to appoint Aboriginal volunteers or staff in the following ways. Advertising the opportunities on the Aboriginal grapevine, they can easily access the information. Advertising in Aboriginal newspaper and Aboriginal radio, through asking advice from the Aboriginal community, this is to seek for attention from the Aboriginal community and also to identify qualified Aboriginal staff. Also, selection criteria and duty statements should be written in Basic English and be clear on what is expected. In positions where Aboriginality is an open criterion in selection panels, use of Aboriginal people should be considered. Interviews should be conducted out in the community, they should be non-intimidating areas. Interview panels should be mindful of the same concept, and that Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people feel shame and thus fail to fully pinpoint their strengths. Godlewska, (2017) mentions, the organization should also recognize that experiences and life skills of Aboriginal community is an honest criterion and should be valued. In addition, practices, values, and policies of the organization should be sensitive and respect the Aboriginal culture. The organization should also develop working relationships with local Aboriginal services and groups, Aboriginal community Elders, agencies and or local individuals who can provide advice to make sure sensitive service delivery and that culture are secured.

Respect for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal Culture; service providers should contemplate on visiting the Aboriginal community after lore time is over. All the significant areas and the land should be given respect. Videos and photographs should only be taken with an individual’s consent. Aboriginal values differ from other people’s values. The Aboriginal values include keeping and giving one’s word, also, one has the obligation of sharing food, shelter, and other resources with the family.  Deaths and Condolences are seriously taken, it is important for one to attend to extended family and family funerals. The Aboriginal people are needed to spend some time with family after the ceremony and failing to do so is disrespectful (Lingard, 2016).

Through respecting Aboriginal Family fundamentals and roles; the roles and fundamentals of the family of Aboriginal family need to be respected and understood before offering services and plans. The title brother, sister, uncle and aunty are for biological relatives and used as respectful titles for family, friends, acquaintance and the old people (Lingard, 2016). The titles are not limited to biological relationships as seen in most non-Aboriginal culture. Distant and close cousins possess the same status as sisters and brothers. One should also understand and respect the Aboriginal women and men roles and the responsibility of their family.

To conclude, Aboriginal communities are titled to care services for kids and high standard to child protection. Planning and services offered to Aboriginal people by non-government organizations, churches, and governments have had a successful experience. This is due to the level of understanding, knowledge, and respect an individual has for Aboriginal culture and history, likewise, delivering sensitive and culturally services to families, individuals or community. However, the services may fail to succeed if they are not culturally proficient and lack a high level of community support and indigenous ownership. Besides, if they work in isolation or do not state the legacy of current and past racism and past trauma and other issues such as homelessness and poverty.


  • Godlewska, A., Schaefli, L., Massey, J., Freake, S., & Rose, J. (2017). Awareness of Aboriginal peoples in Newfoundland and Labrador: Memorial’s first-year students (2013) speak. Canadian Geographer, 61(4), 595–609.
  • Halls Creek Community Families Program: Elements of the role of the child health nurse in the development of a remote Aboriginal home visiting peer support program for families in the early years. (2015). Australian Journal of Rural Health, (6)
  • Lingard, K., & Martin, P. (2016). Strategies to Support the Interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Commercial Development of Gourmet Bush Food Products. International Journal of Cultural Property, (Issue 1), 33.
  • SARAH MARLAND. (2012). The need for homelands: Living on traditional, ancestral lands is critical for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. AQ: Australian Quarterly, 83(3), 16.
  • Sundbery, J., & Latham, R. (2018). Working side by side: a process of collaboration for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Australian Aboriginal Studies, (2), 71–76.




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