Cross-cultural skills

What is good cross-cultural training?
Cross-cultural training is a difficult subject to talk about due to a whole range of factors. One of the main factors is that many dominant culture and Aboriginal people now carry psychological scars or defensive attitudes that have become an…
Letting go of our power
Ben Pangas, AHED Facilitator in training, drove right up the middle of the country from Tasmania to Galiwin’ku in 2011 with his family to join the AHED Project team. Ben shares his reflections on the transition. I am still debriefing…
Our hidden biases. Test your unconscious racial associations.
I have mentioned to some people that there is a test online that allows us to test our unconscious racial associations or prejudices.  It is called an Implicit Association Test and it can be found at All of us…
Predatory systems maintaining Indigenous disadvantage: Some examples
As was discussed in the previous article, one of the limit conditions that create Indigenous "poverty" is that people must engage in strange cultural spaces, controlled by the Dominant Culture. But what are the systems that maintain peoples lack of control in these spaces. I put forward a range of possibilities, some more controversial than others.
Cultural Spaces (An example of the Limit Conditions the people face)
All cultures have spaces of ceremony and tradition, both sacred and part of every day life. We often don't see them within our own culture until we are taken out of our comfort zone and required to navigate them within another culture. We often don't see the impact strange cultural spaces can have on our person. When we do it helps us to understand the world that Indigenous people face daily.
Dirty Assumptions
I was recently told a story about a black African visitor to an Australian Indigenous community. This man went to visit an important Elder in the community... This is a story about sitting in the dirt, about the 'cultural glasses' that we wear and the assumptions we can make.
Culture Shock 101
Having moved to a remote Indigenous community about 4 months ago, my wife and I have recently started to go through the struggles of culture shock. In this article I take you through some of the causes, the symptoms and how to manage Culture Shock. The essential basics of surviving what can be the most difficult part of working in an remote Aborignal or Torres Strait Islander community in the first year.
When Indigenous Advocacy Does Damage
"The poverty experienced by many Aboriginal people is as morally reprehensible as torture and must be eradicated", Amnesty International secretary-general Irene Khan says. Strong words, but is such 'advocacy' helpful. I argue that moralistic bites such as this are in fact dangerous. While advocates feel that such statements point out government failures, they can actually be harmful to the people they are meant to protect. I consider why this is...
The Blame Game.
It is the easiest thing to lay blame. It is also very easy to assume that you are being blamed by someone else. Recently, I have become more aware of the way groups all working to help Indigenous people fight against each other, laying blame or putting up walls. The clash of cultures that occurs within and among organisations working with Indigenous can result in what I call the 'blame game'. A dynamic that brings added stress and disfunction to the whole system. The blame game is notable both between dominant culture workers and Indigneous people, as well as between different Indigneous groups.