Cultural awareness has been embedded throughout my journey in lifelong learning. I’ve travelled and worked through many different communities, cultures and societies, from Uganda to South America, the Middle East and rural Australia. My focus has always been about people – with a lens of culture.
Throughout this experience, I realised that cultural intelligence is a real strength. Amongst my peers, I have capital in this space that I use to support others.
The action for me was to amplify this strength. I’ve done so by enabling cultural inclusion at work.
I now start every meeting with an Acknowledgment of Country.
When I’m with my executive peers, I make sure that the voice of diversity and inclusion is at the table.
Speaking up for cultural diversity sends a clear message about what I think is important. I want to create a culture of inclusiveness and cultural safety. By helping culturally diverse staff have a voice at the table, I can ensure that their views are embedded in the decisions we make at TAFE NSW.
How to be culturally aware
- Ask questions respectfully to learn about other peoples’ backgrounds.
- Adapt your verbal communication style to suit the needs of others.
- Seek out opportunities to work with people from different backgrounds.
- Accept that different cultural situations may require you to adapt your behaviour.
- Recognize that your background impacts on your world view.
- Check your organisation’s cultural protocols guide for more advice and tips.