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Core has been developed by AIATSIS in partnership with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Social Services. It builds on our years of research and involvement in cultural competence initiatives and is informed by research collaboration with the University of Sydney’s National Centre for Cultural Competency.

  • 10 interactive modules;
  • A foundational framework for individual learning as well as a basis for collective learning;
  • Learning activities that allow for critical self-reflection;
  • Encourages participants to undertake further study and activities — additional reading, links and other resources are embedded throughout the course;
  • Promotes dialogue between participants and their supervisors; and
  • Contributes to cultural safety in workplaces.
  • Introduction

    The introduction to the course explains its aims and objectives, and offers some useful tips to help you maximise your learning outcomes.

  • 1 - Thinking About Cultures and Identities

    Module 1 gives you the opportunity to reflect on the notion of culture and how your own cultural influences impact how you think and behave toward others.  It is a critical first step towards (re)thinking about how to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and peoples from other diverse cultural backgrounds.

  • 2 - My Country, Our Country

    Module 2 is an introduction to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and worldviews.  It provides you with key statistical information; explains the central importance of ‘Country’ and introduces the fundamental elements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander laws and societies. 

  • 3 - History Lives in Us

    Module 3 explores how events and policies in the past have shaped the identities and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today. The Module looks at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activism; the ‘rights’ movement and campaigns waged by key organisations in the lead up to the establishment of the Commonwealth Department of Aboriginal Affairs in 1972.

  • 4 - Too Much and Not Enough Change: Commonwealth Indigenous Affairs

    Module 4 provides an overview of the complex world of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs; examines some of the key policy approaches of governments since 1972; and explores how the numerous changes have, over time, led to current policy frameworks and administrative arrangements.

  • 5 - Communities in Control: Recognising the role of community organisations

    Module 5 gives you an insight into the unique attributes of the thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations, collectively known as the ‘community-controlled’ sector. It explores the vital role these organisations play in areas such as health, housing, education, youth, employment and justice and explains the benefits of working more effectively in partnership with them to drive positive change in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

  • 6 - Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Rights to Country

    Module 6 explores Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights, particularly those relating to land and native title and explains how Australian laws and policies have evolved to recognise and protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ traditional connection to Country.

  • 7 - Self-determination and Autonomy

    Module 7 examines ‘self-determination’; what it means to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; and the ways in which it is expressed — from personal every-days acts to formal agreements with governments. The Module also explores the relationship between self-determination, development and economic participation and prosperity.

  • 8 - Engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

    Module 8 focuses on the important role Commonwealth employees have in engaging with communities and provides tips and suggestions to assist you to develop the capacity to engage effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to achieve sustainable outcomes. 

  • 9 - Contribution to the Nation

    Module 9 celebrates the historical and contemporary contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Australian society and provides an insight into how these contributions have played (and continue to play) a valuable role in shaping our national identity.

  • 10 - Continuing Your Journey

    Module 10 provides you with a conceptual framework and some useful tools to enable you to continue your cultural learning journey, by embedding the values of diversity and cultural learning into your professional development and workplace culture.

Why should I do it?

Core provides a detailed exploration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and issues, as a means of assisting you to enhance your cultural understanding; gain a deeper sense of self-awareness and critical reflection; and enhance your personal and professional capacity to engage respectfully and effectively in an intercultural context.

The program is designed to encourage people to understand their own cultural perspectives as the basis for effective interactions with people of (other) diverse backgrounds.

Enquire now

To get in contact with the team about this course, please complete the form below.

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Who are you enquiring for?

Thank you for your enquiry regarding Core Cultural Learning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia Foundation Course (Core).

Core is not available to individual participants. Please consider placing your enquiry on behalf of your organisation or workplace, to further explore the opportunity of using this cultural learning tool. We require a minimum group of 10 participants for a class to be made available.

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Last updated: 31 October 2023