CULTURE PAPER • Introduction Geographical and historical background of the culture

• Introduction
Geographical and historical background of the culture.
The word “aboriginal” means “the first” or “earliest known”. The aboriginals do not identify themselves as aboriginals but recognize each other based on their clan or tribe or the sub group of their language. Australian aborigines are a class of people who are identified by Australian law as being members of a race, who share , in common, biological ancestry back to the original occupants to the Australia continent. It is believed that the Aborigines came over from SE Asia on canoe. Australia may well be the home of the world’s first people. Stone tools discovered in a quarry near Penrith, New South Wales, in 1971 show that humans lived in Australia at least twelve thousand years before they appeared in Europe. The Aboriginal flag is divided horizontally into two equal halves of black (top) and red (bottom), with a yellow circle in the center. The black symbolizes Aboriginal people and the yellow represents the sun, the constant re-newer of life while red depicts the earth and also represents ochre, which is used by Aboriginal people in ceremonies.

The Didgeridoo has a sound that is a low-pitched drone. It has a haunting and mysterious quality that draws the listener into the history, culture and the ancient dreamtime of the Aboriginal people. The didgeridoo is commonly considered the national instrument of Aboriginal people, and it is claimed to be the world’s oldest wind instrument. The bullroarer consists of a simple wooden slat, 30 to 40cm in length and 5 to 7cm wide that is whirled around in a circle on the end of a length of cord.
Australia clap sticks are called bimli. These sticks are used to keep time with the playing of the didgeridoo.
Dreamtime Stories:
Australian Aborigines created stories to teach others about Dreamtime-the creation. These stories taught about life, love, marriage, hunting, gathering, warfare, and death.
Storytelling, along with art, singing and dancing, was the traditional way to educate about their history, cultures, and laws.
The “Dreamtime”, the mythological past, was the time when spirit ancestors had travelled throughout the land, giving it its physical form, and setting down the rules to be followed by the Aboriginals.
Storytellers were chosen by the Elders.
The Dreamtime stories are passed from Generation to generation-they are not owned.
It is the responsibility of the group that has the stories to pass them on to the next generation.
The Story of Dot Painting

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The indigenous people of Australia, or Aborigines, use dot painting as a form of storytelling. With dots of paint traditionally made from natural pigments, they create patterns and images of plants and animals that represent their culture’s creation myths, which date back tens of thousands of years.
Bark painting is probably the most well known Aboriginal art form but this could be done only in areas where trees with suitable bark were available. It consists of pieces of flattened bark taken from trees such as the Stringybark. The designs seen on authentic bark paintings are traditional designs that are owned by the artist, or his or her “skin”, or clan, and cannot be painted by other artists.
Aboriginal rock art is part of a tradition of painting and engraving that stretches back over 40,000 years! Many elders believe that they were created by spirits to keep records of their history.
• Family Dynamics and Traditions
1. For example, gender roles and types of families.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander2 parents understand “what works” to keep their children safe and to raise them to be active contributors to family and community life. The effects of intergenerational trauma, cultural disconnection and family disruption among many Aboriginal communities, however, are increasingly being recognised by the broader Australian community. The high levels of disadvantage faced by many Aboriginal families and communities are, as a result, now widely acknowledged (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare AIHW, 2011; Bowes ; Grace, 2014; Council of Australian Governments COAG, 2009; Price-Robertson, 2011). Aboriginal kinship and family structures are still cohesive forces which bind Aboriginal people together in all parts of Australia. Traditionally the Aboriginal family was a collaboration of clans composed og mothers, fathers, uncles, aunties, sisters, brothers, cousins and so on. In today’s terms it is known as an extended family . For Aboriginal people their family provides psychological and emotional support which is important to their wellbeing. Aboriginal family obligations, often are seen as nepotism by other Australians, and are not strictly nuclear families. The structure of Aboriginal families reflects cultural values and involving kinship responsibilities. For Aboriginal people kinship and family are especially import. Aboriginal people have family and kinship responsibilities that are not typical of non-Aboriginal families. Aboriginal people get things done through working through their family and kinship structures.
For many Aboriginal families and communities, engaging in traditional cultural practices and reclaiming a sense of cultural identity is the key to alleviating Aboriginal disadvantage and regaining their rightful place in broader Australian society. In this sense, Aboriginal culture3 is strength, and acts as a protective force for children and families (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet PM&C, 2012; Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care SNAICC & Innovative Resources, 2009; SNAICC, 2011; Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency VACCA, 2013).
Understanding how Aboriginal culture can help to deliver positive outcomes for children may also help service providers in their work with non-Indigenous families. Some of the strengths of traditional Aboriginal cultural practices are supported by evidence that could be applied in crosscultural settings. This paper explores some of those strengths, with an aim to: ? identify the characteristics of Aboriginal culture that contribute to effective family functioning and child-rearing practices; ? contribute to the body of knowledge about Aboriginal family and community life, to promote greater understanding about traditional Aboriginal cultural practices; and ? explore the ways in which service providers working with non-Indigenous families might draw from some of the strengths of traditional Aboriginal family practices.
The views of Aboriginal families were gathered through a series of focus groups and compared with understandings drawn from the literature. To frame the discussions with focus group participants, a review of the literature helped to identify some of the key themes that frequently arise when referring to Aboriginal family life and child-rearing practices. These themes focus on: collective community approaches to raising children; issues of child autonomy and independence; the contributions of elderly family members in family and community life; and the role of spirituality in family functioning. Other literature was explored to identify how these issues can impact on families and communities in both Aboriginal and non-Indigenous contexts.
There were 16 participants interviewed for this paper across four focus groups in three locations. Participants included a range of parents, carers and community members, including Aboriginal Elders, living in various regions across Australia. Staff at the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) conducted the focus groups in Victoria, North Queensland and the Northern Territory in October 2013.4 While the views of focus group participants are not necessarily representative of all Australian Aboriginal groups, they do highlight a range of cultural strengths that appear to be shared by Australian Aboriginal people.

• Healthcare and Illness
1. What is the healthcare like with this culture?
2. Give details on the cultural beliefs and practices related to health, healthcare, and utilization of Western Healthcare Services.
3. How is illness viewed in this culture?
Health professionals often experience difficulties with providing care to Aboriginal people because of the cultural distance between mainstream culture and Aboriginal culture, particularly in regard to health belief systems. The disparity between Aboriginal culture and mainstream Western culture appears to magnify the difficulties encountered in any cross-cultural health service delivery setting. There is a variety of health-related beliefs held by Aboriginal people throughout Australia and the material presented is a representative sample which highlights the differences between Western and Aboriginal healthrelated beliefs. It is based on literature describing the ‘traditional’ culture of Aboriginal people from a variety of locations across Australia. There is a lack of material which describes the health beliefs of Aboriginal people living in urban settings. For these reasons this paper provides information about the foundation on which present beliefs have (or have not) been incorporated. There is limited information regarding the specific health beliefs of Aboriginal people today or of the variety of health beliefs within the general Aboriginal population. The traditional health beliefs of Aboriginal people are interconnected with many aspects of Aboriginal life such as the land, kinship obligations, and religon.5 The sociomedical system of health beliefs held by Aboriginal people places emphasis on social and spiritual dysfunction causing illness. This approach emphasises that ‘individual wellbeing is always contingent upon the effective discharge of obligations to society and the land itself’ (p.598).6 A person’s social responsibilities and obligations may take precedence over their own health because of the priority given social relationships in this model. Sorcery and supernatural intervention are part of the perceived reality of Aboriginal life,11 and in Aboriginal society explanations in terms of sorcery are often used. The deaths of infants or the very old or chronically ill are considered to be in the normal course of events, while deaths outside these groups may have a supernatural influence, especially if they are regarded as premature, unexpected and sudden.23 It is important to note that the belief in supernatural causes of illness may not be restricted to Aboriginal communities in rural and remote regions. Traditional healers are held in high regard.39,48 The profession tends to be male dominated, although there are female healers in some communities.4,5,45 While any person may prepare and use bush medicine, traditional healers have exceptional knowledge and powers17 that can be used to aid people (see Table 2). Traditional healers are trained to remove the influence of sorcery and evil spirits and to restore the wellbeing of the soul or spirit. An appreciation of the Aboriginal model of illness causation, including the key role of supernatural intervention, the knowledge of the variety of Aboriginal medical treatment methods and the role played by traditional healers will assist health professionals in cross-cultural interactions with Aboriginal patients. The differences in Aboriginal and Western health beliefs provides an indication of the broader differences in world view between these cultures
• Best practices in communicating with members of this cultural group.
1. Assess the effect of member’s cultural values on communication.
2. Culturally sensitive care in regard to: verbal/nonverbal communication, appropriate eye contact, appropriate personal space, etc.
3. List skills that facilitate communication with patients from this culture.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences comprise a wide range of people with different communication needs, information preferences, and expectations of government. These different needs are influenced by factors including location, levels of literacy, age, cultural considerations, and access to technologies.
When communicating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples it is particularly important to consider their locality and whether they are accessing Government services and information from an urban, regional or remote setting.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in urban centres have access to mainstream services and information, whereas those living in regional or remote locations may have targeted services, programmes and dedicated government staff to deliver information to the community. Those living in remote communities may also have lower English proficiency with English being the second, third or fourth language spoken within the community.
When considering communication with regional and remote communities it is important to remember that every community has their own local protocols and this should dictate the communications approach you take.
All communications with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be respectful and culturally sensitive. There is no formula or set rule for interacting with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. When communicating with Indigenous audiences, government agencies should be aware that there may be barriers to effective communication and engagement because of past negative experiences with governments, cultural and traditional differences between and within groups, and a higher degree of transiency, particularly in regional and remote locations. General considerations when communicating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences include:
• Use clear language – ensure jargon, acronyms or technical terms are minimised and fully explained.
• Be aware that words might have different meanings in different communities
• Use multiple channels to convey your message, which can include face-to-face, letters, television, brochures, posters, talking posters, print media, community radio, videos, websites and social media.
• Use Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices to demonstrate relevant stories of success and encourage locals to share their stories through your communication channels.
• Use a mix of mainstream and Indigenous media channels for general information and Indigenous specific information.
• Use culturally specific elements for Indigenous-specific communications, such as language, talent, design and music elements.
• Be aware that there may be gender specific elements that need to be considered for cultural reasons.
• Consider that some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities face lower literacy and numeracy skills.
• Be active providers of information as some Indigenous communities wait to receive government information rather than to seek it out1.
When communicating face to face it is important to remember that the level of English understood varies from community to community and from individual to individual and therefore you may need to adjust your speaking style to enable full understanding. It’s also important to note that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are an oral culture and there are many different Indigenous languages are still spoken in some communities and English may not be a person’s first language. Before visiting a community, take the time to research local community protocols. If you’re visiting remote communities and English is not the first language of the person you are speaking with:
• Engage an interpreter to assist with facilitating meetings, workshops or training sessions.
• Consider the choice of vocabulary, rate of delivery, clarity and logical ordering of ideas.
• Sensitively offer assistance with reading and writing if it is required – do not cause embarrassment or shame to the person by asking them whether or not they can read or write.
• Do not speak loudly or in a patronising manner
Cultural considerations
• Respect protocols and sensitivities around Men’s and Women’s Business. Certain customs and practices are performed by men and women separately and sometimes privately but this will vary from community to community.
• Acknowledge that in certain cultures there is an established order in which people can speak or make a contribution; it is extremely important to remember this in facilitated workshops and consultation sessions where everyone’s input is expected.
• Be aware that swear words may be a part of accepted conversation.
• Be careful with the use of humour, as it may be misunderstood.
• Pay attention to how you dress, particularly in the company of members of the opposite sex—dressing inappropriately can be interpreted as a sign of disrespect.
• Use formal addresses when interacting with older people and Elders—or ask them how they wish to be acknowledged.
• Always wait your turn to speak.
• It is important to be a good listener and not to talk over anyone.
• Avoid direct criticisms of specific individuals.
• Be honest and keep your word—distrust and cynicism towards non-Indigenous people and service providers is common. Make commitments only on matters where you know you can deliver and always follow through on agreements or decisions.
• Be clear about the purpose of your communication and or engagement – if the decision has been made and you’re just there to communicate it, then don’t call it ‘consultation’.
• If you do consult, make sure that the community’s views are reflected and that you provide feedback to the community about how their input has been used.
• Time should be considered in organising meetings and visitors should have a cultural consideration for meeting times. Meanings of silence vary depending on the community- it can be used as a show of respect, contemplation, disagreement, a time to reflect and consider what has been said or waiting for community support.
• Allow time for people to think about ideas and have informal discussions.
Body language
• The way Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples read body language and protocols varies across communities.
• Always observe others when communicating and rely on local knowledge—particularly regarding eye contact, general body contact such as shaking hands and personal space.
• Be aware that there are distinct boundaries between males and females and practice appropriate behaviour at all times.
One of the reasons why indigenous people don’t have much faith in the mainstream health care and prefer their inferior and crude traditional treatments is lack of trust in the western-oriented healthcare system (Bain, 2011). To build trust through culturally competent health care services is one of the ways towards achieving not only effective communication, but also increased participation in health care services by the indigenous groups. Building trust promotes increased understanding of each other, services to quash any misconceptions, and creates mutual respect between the health providers and the patients.
One way to build trust is by designing health care delivery programs that factor in indigenous people concerns (Racher & Annis, 2007). Overtime, there have been numerous documentations of health care aspects that are against the indigenous people’s culture. In addition to these documentations, the indigenous people should be involved in the designing process. This strategy is effective because it helps to create a sense of ownership by the indigenous groups as they have actively participated in the design process. Moreover, participation in the program design process is an avenue for indigenous groups to participate in the decision process hence an empowerment to voice out there concern when not satisfied with the program services.

• Local healthcare facilities within Maricopa County for this cultural group (if applicable).
• Conclusion
1. Tie all information together and provide answers to the following: Why did you choose this culture? Why is this project important for your future (or continuing growth) in the healthcare field? What did you learn from this project?
Note: Your paper should follow APA format and include a title page and a reference page.
Submit your paper by Day 7 of Week 7 by clicking on the assignment in Canvas and uploading your document.
Double spaced, APA format, a title page, reference sheet, no abstract, 3 credible sources, e book and a journal, 6 pages.
For presentation
Attention getter
Tie to audience
Thesis statement

Brake light. now we know about this food lets review the points
Summary. Extended info or use the preview
Tie audience. Use the original tie the audience
Closing remark can be thank you for listening or whatever you choose to use


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Askin, P., (2007, Sept 2). Aboriginal bush medicine heals body and soul, Health News, Issue 10, Retrieved from

Chenowethm L, Jeon Y-H, Goff M ; Burke C 2006. Cultural competency and nursing care: an Australian perspective. International Nursing Review 53(1):34–40.

Coffin, J. (2007). Rising to the challenge in Aboriginal health by creating cultural security. Aboriginal ; Islander Health Worker Journal 31(3):22–4.

Dudgeon, P., Wright, M. ; Coffin, J. (2010). Talking it and walking it: cultural competence. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues 13(3):29–44.


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