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Acknowledge your biases and assumptions

Domestic and family violence is not a part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

Think about what stereotypes you have about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and domestic and family violence.

Think about what has informed these stereotypes and how it may impact your ability to work with community. To do this you need to consider your own personal values and beliefs and how they impact your practice.

Know your privilege and power, especially as a representative of the child protection system. As such you represent the white privilege and power of government departments and policies, both past and present. Refer to practice guide Power, privilege and use of self in child protection.

Be culturally relevant and accountable by:

  • recognising and naming the differences within yourself and others
  • understanding the impact and interplay of those differences
  • appreciating other’s (and your own) capacity to navigate the interplay of privilege and oppression on a daily basis
  • using the differences represented by Child Safety, the community and the children and families you serve.

(Source: The Multicultural Tool developed by VISIONS Inc with additions by Amy McDonald Cipolla Stickles-Wynen).

Further reading

Read this classic text on racism White privilege: unpacking the invisible knapsack.


If an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person makes excuses for their violence as ‘being cultural’ – practitioners need to reflect on the information they have to challenge this way of thinking. 

Utilise supervision time to check in and reflect with senior team leader, senior practitioners to check your biases and assumptions.  Have conversations with the Cultural Practice Advisor and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Regional Practice Leader to strengthen your practice when working Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families, communities and colleagues.

Talk with your Regional Practice Leaders to connect with your Working with and across difference champions for guidance for how to acknowledge your privilege in the work that you do.

Further reading

To learn more about checking your biases and assumptions, refer to Applying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural lens in part 2 of the Safe Care and Connection practice kit.

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