The Injury Matters team headed to Kings Park earlier this month for a specially designed Cultural Awareness presentation by WA-based organisation Aboriginal Awareness Production and Events.
The organisation is led by respected Aboriginal elder, Dr Richard Walley OAM and his family, and promotes an understanding of Aboriginal culture and how its heritage, beliefs and traditions can be applied to enhance personal and organisational growth.
As an organisation which interacts with health professionals and different sectors of the community – both in metropolitan and regional WA – to promote injury prevention programs and activities, we place significant importance on understanding and embracing Aboriginal culture in the work we do.
We are currently in the final stages of completing our first ‘Reflect’ Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which has very much been a learning journey for all of the staff who have been involved in pulling it together, and our session with AAP&E was an important part of that process.
Although some staff have participated in cultural awareness programs in the past, for many it was very much an opportunity to find out more about Aboriginal culture, its heritage and traditions and to gain a deeper understanding of some of the practices and traditions we may have heard about but not necessarily understood the meaning behind.
The morning’s session was conducted by Richard’s four children – John, Olman, Alton and Rickeeta all of whom are an integral part of the AAP&E team – each of whom brought a different perspective and dimension to the morning’s activities.
It was very much an interactive process with plenty of opportunity for our staff to ask questions and engage in debate and discussion and for all of those present to be given an opportunity to ask questions, voice their opinions and engage in an open and non-judgemental session.
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the morning was our fascinating guided tour through Kings Park – including a stroll across the treetop walk – while Olman identified the different flora and fauna that has been an integral part of Aboriginal culture for tens of thousands of years.
“It was a real revelation to see Kings Park through the stories of the ancestors of our guides, to listen to some of Perth’s history from an Aboriginal perspective and to learn the many different ways Aboriginal people utilise the natural environment as part of their daily diet, health care and shelter,” said one team member.
“We now know what to do if we are caught in the bush without a band aid, rope or toilet paper!”
Thanks to all of the team at Aboriginal Awareness Productions and Events for a wonderful morning and we highly recommend it to any organisation wanting a deeper understanding of Aboriginal culture and heritage or who may be contemplating undertaking their own Reconciliation Action Plan journey.