Top End staff develop their cross-cultural mentoring skills

Timmy Duggan from the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (AILC) recently conducted a two-day Introduction to Diversity Mentoring (Indigenous) workshop.  The workshop was co-ordinated by the Flinders NT Regional Training Hub with attendance from Flinders NT, Menzies School of Health and Research and clinicians from Top End Health Services.

The participants were introduced to mentoring and mentoring models with an emphasis on cultural diversity, complexities of mentoring in a cross-cultural context and leadership concepts. The program is suitable for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as well as non-Indigenous participants. It has an overall aim to enable attendees to work more effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within their workplaces and communities.

Participants delved into aspects of cultural responsiveness, including cross-cultural communication, ethical considerations as well as several self-reflective activities that challenged stereotypes, preferred leadership styles and world views.  The participant’s communication skills were put to the test during an activity where they had to guide their partners through a maze whilst blindfolded.

The group obtained an appreciation of the stages of mentoring and the utilisation of a strengths-based approach. They identified shared values and appreciated each other’s differences by addressing external perceptions.  The outcomes of the day were quite significant, in addition to a greater appreciation of mentoring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons, there were opportunities for networking, and discussions were held of future collaborations between participants.

Feedback from participants:

“I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for a wonderful two days of training and say I have learned something new. Great to see friends and meet some new people along the way. “

Richard Fejo

Senior Elder on Campus, Poche Centre for Indigenous Health,  College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University -NT

Other feedback from participants:

“This was the first time I have worked with the AILC and the experience was very positive. It was interactive and set-up in a safe environment.”

“There were many opportunities to reflect and put principles into practice through the activities.”

“I had a great experience. This is my first mentoring workshop and have thoroughly enjoyed it. It was very engaging, interactive examples on mentorship and provided an in-depth knowledge on mentoring and cultural diversity.”

“Very positive. One of the best workshops I have attended. He kept us engaged all the time.”

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Flinders NT Flinders NT Medical Program (NTMP) Flinders NT Regional Training Hub