Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is an experience that will change how you view a whole country’s history and more importantly, how you view the real experiences that are felt by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and children.

You will leave changed, having experienced a richness in the communities’ connectedness and extended kinships; the love and protection that are celebrated; the laughter that has helped these communities build resilience and provided families with a haven outside of a society that has sought to exclude them.

But to have this experience you will need to give your time and open yourself to deeply listen and learn. This will not be easy. There will be many messages you will hear and pressures you will feel to steer you away from this journey. So what will you choose to do?

Do you want to find the door to the secret garden? Do you want to see what is behind it? As an Aboriginal consultant reflected:

‘I don’t think people actually realise what they are missing out on! When I’m in the ‘secret garden’ I see such wonders: the teachings of my Elders, the bravery and wisdom of my sisters and brothers. There is a magic to all of this. Do you think people really know what they’re missing out on?’

How will you change the statistics and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s experiences at your service?

Final reflection

  • How does the information presented in this resource change how you will practice?
  • What could you change within your service to improve the experience for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples?
  • How could clients know that your service will be different?

The preferred terminology used by Emerging Minds in our resources is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, as guided by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social and Emotional Wellbeing National Consultancy Group.

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