Recently, a range of non-Indigenous support staff from across UOW underwent cultural humility training. Cultural humility is a theoretical concept based on the idea of self-reflection, understanding yourself and acknowledging your own personal biases. The training encourages dialogue that promotes deep self-reflection of the participants’ own beliefs, alongside understanding the complex prevalence of systemic racism and the impact of dominant Western power systems on non-Western individuals.
Cultural Humility can be considered essential to building cultural safety and is at the forefront of promoting inclusivity and comfort for students with non-Western identities and backgrounds. It assists individuals, especially those who identify with the dominant culture of a place, to understand what is and isn't culturally appropriate. Cultural humility training at UOW is facilitated by Gomeroi man Joel Keen, the resident academic at Woolyungah, who specializes in Indigenous tailored academic support. Joel says that he hopes the training will “raise the level of self-awareness regarding the impacts that university staff can have on Indigenous students”.
This training aims to prevent individuals from imposing their own oppressive ideas and colonised interests over others. It seeks to benefit all students, and further support those from non-Western backgrounds, examining how hierarchal power structures operate to ensure that societal institutions continue to become more inclusive.