The Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health Acknowledges and Respects the Traditional Custodians, the Wilyakali people and the Paakantji nation, who’s land our Broken Hill facility is located. It also recognises the diversity of other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who now reside in this community.


All participants are required to complete the online Aboriginal Cultural Education Module prior to the workshop. Please print off a copy of the completion certificate and bring it with you.


The Cross Cultural Education Workshop is based on an initiative by Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation; the Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health (BHUDRH); the Royal Flying Doctors Service (South Eastern Sector) and the Far West Local Health District. This program has been developed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community consultation and participation, as it is a living program, there is an expectation that the information presented will grow and expand. This is based upon continuing identified areas of need for health professionals embarking on a career in western NSW.

The Cross Cultural Education Workshop is a learning opportunity for new health care employees commencing work in rural and remote regions of western New South Wales. Its objective is to assist new staff in their interactions with local Aboriginal communities and aims to support appropriate communication and respect for the traditional owners of the area.

The Program is extensive and touches on a variety of themes from communication to health and local service provision models. It is also important that you familiarise yourself with past and current issues that have affected local Aboriginal communities. This will help you develop a greater understanding of social determinants that contribute to poor health outcomes in the region.

It is essential that visitors to communities have an understanding of Aboriginal life from a historical and current perspective. There needs to be insight into the harm inflicted on communities by the process of colonisation and government policies that have eroded economic, political, cultural and spiritual practices.

This Program aims to support staff and students in practicing and participating in Aboriginal communities in a culturally appropriate manner. This initial workshop will be built upon in the future to allow for a greater depth of understanding and competence in service provision to Aboriginal individuals and communities resulting in culturally safe practices.

As you progress through this workshop, you will:

  • Explore your own thoughts regarding why there is currently such a discrepancy in the life expectancy between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations in Australia
  • Look at the importance of Aboriginal lifestyle and cultural practices prior to British colonisation and the impact of colonisation on these elements
  • Challenge the myths that have (and still do to this day) negatively stigmatise Aboriginal Australians
  • Examine your current practices and interactions with Aboriginal individuals and communities
  • Reflect on how you can contribute to improving cross cultural communication, interaction, health outcomes and well-being.

We are aware that this introductory workshop can only provide you with a brief insight into the complexities associated with working with Aboriginal people regardless of their place of residence. However, the challenge we pose for you, as health professionals, is to explore further the individuality of the specific communities you will be interacting with, as well as the events that have had a negative and positive impact on the communities and individuals.

Your journey will also include the opportunity to appreciate the richness and diversity of Aboriginal culture in Australia today.

The organisations and communities responsible for this program are conscious of the need for students and health staff to have an awareness of the pre- and post- colonial history of Aboriginal communities in western New South Wales, and the associated link to the current health and well-being of individuals and communities.

This history, in many instances, is a living history and the ramifications continue to have an impact on Aboriginal communities and people. This history relates to the aim of this Cross Cultural Education Workshop, and they are to:

  • Provide health professionals and students with a basic understanding of the history of Aboriginal people at a national, state and local level
  • Assist health professionals and students gain an initial understanding and insight into Aboriginal communities in western NSW, with the aim of improving health outcomes
  • Assist health professionals and students gain communication skills relevant to today’s Aboriginal communities in western NSW
  • Allow health professionals and students to explore Aboriginal concepts of health and models of care.

This course is available free of charge to Usyd staff, students on placement and LHD staff, however a fee may be charged to other interested organisations.

Workshops commences at 9.30am – 4pm  

Minimum: 6 participants
Maximum: 20 participants


Denise Hampton

Denise Hampton
First Nations
Special Project Officer

Mariah Goldsworthy

Mariah Goldsworthy
First Nations Lead

Lucinda Collins

Lucinda Collins
Assistant Aboriginal
Project Officer