Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures hold a unique and important place in the Canberra community and Australian society.
However, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people face systemic disadvantage, discrimination and continue to be affected by actions of the past, including colonisation and the Stolen Generations. There are clear disparities across all indicators of health and quality of life between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population has a median age of 20 years, which means that 50% of the population is aged below 20 years. People who work with young people have the unique opportunity to acknowledge the disadvantage and discrimination faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and take steps to addressing this by working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and their communities. This requires workers to have an understanding of an individual’s personal and cultural history and a willingness to work flexibly and holistically.
This Ways of Working has been developed in collaboration with Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation and incorporates some of the findings presented by the Institute for Child Protection Studies at the ‘Listening and Responding to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people: Learning’s from the Out of Home Care Forum’.
The following tips and principles provide some first steps to assist you to make your practice and service more culturally appropriate and accessible to diverse needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people:
It must be understood and respected for the protocol, that an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person cannot generally speak about or on behalf of another person’s country, unless given permission by the custodians or traditional landowner to do so.
 Deadlyvibe can be accessed at http://deadlys.vibe.com.au/vibe.asp?pageID=1871.
 Koorimail can be accessed at www.koorimail.com.
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