Innovation and cultural capability

Tuesday, 21 March 2017
Craig Ritchie
Dr Lisa Strelein
Geoff Richardson
Toni Bauman

Policymaking and practical engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are profoundly cultural endeavours. AIATSIS’s 2015 report on Indigenous governance revealed that a key barrier to effective Indigenous governance is the capacity of governments to engage effectively. If the Prime Minister’s stated ideal of working in partnership between government and Indigenous peoples is to be achieved effectively then a cultural shift and investment in the capacity of the public service is required to address the cultural capability gap. 

In this panel, Craig Ritchie explores the ideas that underpin contemporary Indigenous policymaking and argues for a radical reframing of policymaking around the concept of ‘as Aboriginal’ or ‘as Torres Strait Islander’ where Indigenous perspectives replace those of non-Indigenous policymakers.

Geoff Richardson discusses the practical challenge of cultural capability for the Australian Public Service, particularly those working in Indigenous Affairs, with a focus on four domains of communication, facilitation, development and systems.

Lisa Strelein introduces the Core Cultural Learning program, developed by AIATSIS in collaboration with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Social Services. She reveals some of the underlining assumptions of the program that seek to disrupt traditional approaches to cultural learning.

Toni Bauman worked on the Core program and will facilitate the panel and examine some of the practical issues encountered in the strength-based approach to developing Core for an audience of all Commonwealth staff.

The Panel will discuss the way in which the program has been received by the public service and consider its possible impact.