Uncle Jerri from the ACS Outreach team stands netx to the ACS truck in Amata

Our Outreach team is responsible for assisting Elders in a crisis and also provide cultural advisory training and services. There are seven key points that the Outreach team consider when supporting First Nations Elders, and to ensure their efforts are culturally appropriate and aware.

  • One of the most important things is to never assume. There are many stereotypes out there, and we never want to bring preconceived ideas about someone into a care setting.
  • Language and communication are always taken into account. What is the community member’s first language? Are we sure that someone has fully understood what has been explained?
  • Cultural respect and an understanding of kinship can help deal appropriately with situations where there may be a lot of family involved, or where social and emotional wellbeing is low.
  • Know your history so you can better understand the context and lived experiences of Elders. Many Elders that ACS supports were a part of the stolen generation, or experience intergenerational trauma. This can inform what the best approach is when communicating with community members.
  • Be aware of mental health and any history of drugs and alcohol. Pay attention to the details and signs of how an Elder may be going with their mental health.
  • Understand the effects of incarceration on First Nations people in Australia. The disproportionate statistics and how the incarceration of someone’s family member may be impacting their social and emotional wellbeing.
  • Consistency is key. Ensure that everyone who supports a particular community member is on the same page, so that they aren’t being given conflicting information on anything.

Click here to learn more about what Aboriginal Community Services does and how we put these considerations into practice.

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