For many years NATSICC has received requests for assistance to bridge the cultural gaps between remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and Priests working in those communities.
The Council would usually respond to those requests on an individual basis – by either visiting, talking on the phone or involving the local Councillor in discussions. During these discussions, it became clear that there was a deep need for people working in First Nations communities to develop at least a foundational level of knowledge to enable them to engage more effectively with our people. It also became clear that this was true in many other areas of the Catholic Church.
From this understanding the Cultural Competency for Catholics (CCC) was born. As the course was being developed, more and more stakeholders within the Church made contact asking for access to the resource. This provided us with the opportunity to broaden the scope of the course to include anyone working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The CCC includes sections on the ongoing impact of Colonisation, Kinship systems, Catholicism through an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lens and, importantly, practical tips for ministry. NATSICC views the course as the first step on the journey of knowledge and strongly encourages participants to meet with and genuinely engage with local Traditional Custodians.
Additionally, a core facet of Reconciliation Action Plans (RAP), being adopted nationally by Parishes and organizations, is the embedding of Cultural Competency Training in organizational planning. The CCC will assist those groups to meet the requirements of their RAPs.
It is our vision that every member of the Clergy, Religious Orders, volunteers, staff and lay ministers undertake the course alongside other key trainings. For example, in a school context this means the teachers, groundskeepers, Principal, canteen staff etc. Many issues can occur in day to day interactions and providing everyone with understanding and knowledge means that we can be proactive and avoid issues before they arise. The more we learn about each other, the more we respect each other.
We have partnered with Catholic Church Insurances to deliver the program using existing E-Learning Manager. We will be able to facilitate the adoption of the Course through any organisation within the Catholic Church for a minimal cost.
If your organisation is interested in utilising the course, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.