It’s a sad, but true, situation that many people who want to help improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous people have had very little contact with Aboriginal or Islander people. The first priority of this course is to hear first hand from Indigenous people about how they understand the problems in their communities, and what they think the solutions are.
I have an impressive list of speakers who have volunteered to present, meet, and discuss issues with the class. Why would they volunteer? Because they tell me it is rare to be given the opportunity to talk to students who will soon be in the workforce and are in a position to make a difference. They are keen that the paths of Indigenous and non-Indigenous meet, so that we can work together effectively.
I would be very keen for Indigenous students to take this course. The speakers will showcase some of the research projects being carried out in the Indigenous community, which will be of particular interest to Indigenous students who want to give back to their communities.
You’ll develop an understanding of Indigenous disadvantage and meet Indigenous academics and mental health professionals who have volunteered their time to talk with you (not at you).
You’ll develop skills in:
In the spirit of reconciliation, and with knowledge of past and current injustices carried out by mainstream Australia, I feel strongly that psychologists should engage with the Indigenous people to promote healing.
In this course, we engage in deep listening, or Dadirri, as a first step. Miriam Rose Ungenmerr from the Ngangikurungkurr tribe of the Daly river, wrote:
"Our people are used to the struggle and the long waiting. We still wait for the white people to understand us better. We ourselves have spent many years learning about white man’s way; we have learnt to speak the white man’s language; we have listened to what he had to say. This learning and listening should go both ways. We would like people in Australia to take time and listen to us. We are hoping people will come closer. We keep on longing for the things that we have always hoped for, respect and understanding."
This course is a response to these sentiments.