FNSW Let’s Get Connected Facilitated Forums Project Worker: Julianne Abood
The Let’s Get Connected Facilitated Forum Series (LGC) has been working since October 2009 with mainstream family and community services across Metro West to assist services to improve access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.
The LGC forums have been working actively and progressively over the past five years to promote collaborative approaches to improving engagement and access to mainstream services, to providing relevant training and networking opportunities, access to information and resources, and to assist participating services to implement new approaches and strategies in their workplaces. The LGC facilitated forums have been diverse in format, changing to accommodate and reflect the needs and different learning styles of the 195 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal workers who have attended one or more of these forums.
The theme for 2014’s LGC events focused on providing support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers working in mainstream organisations. Listening to feedback from numerous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers attending LGC forums made it clear that if these events were going to promote mainstream services to build partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers then we needed to ensure that these workers were being well supported in their workplaces.
The first forum, ‘Improving retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees through supporting wellbeing and good workplace practices’ focused on providing a better understanding of the many issues and needs that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers may have when working in mainstream organisations. The forum also provided an opportunity for discussions to identify strategies aimed at minimising the chance of burnout, high staff turnover rates, and to explore strategies to ensure a culturally safe workplace. The follow up forum ‘Cultural Supervision and Workplace Mentoring’ focused more specifically on ways to provide the best possible support for individual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers working in varied service settings. Current practice models being used across Western Sydney were showcased including cultural supervision, workplace mentoring and peer group support.
Let’s Get Connected ‘Learning Conversations’ Resources