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Example: Cultural support plan

Please note: This cultural support plan is only provided as an example. All people named are fictitious and are not based on real people.

The information outlined below represents some, but not all, of the information that could be included in a cultural support plan. Each plan should be tailored to the identified needs and circumstances of the child, and the available resources within the family and community.

Name of clan / language group / ethnic group or cultural group / island or other cultural community group the child belongs to?

Community 1. Kacoda Smith is a descendant of the Kalkadoon people of Mt Isa and has historical links to the Aboriginal community of Palm Island on the maternal side of her family.

Community 2. Kacoda is a descendant of the Wakka Wakka people of the Cherbourg Community through the paternal side of her family.

Community 3. Kacoda is currently living in Frenchville in Rockhampton and has lived in the Rockhampton/Capricorn Coast region all of her life and is accepted by and involved with the local Darumbal community.

Name of mob/community and/or island group, clan group, language group and skin group the child’s siblings, mother and father belong to

Kacoda’s mother, Julie Smith, belongs to the Kalkadoon clan group in Mt Isa, Qld. Julie is currently residing in the Bundaberg area. Kacoda’s maternal grandmother, Anne Smith, is key to the continuation of the family’s connection with extended family living in the Mt Isa and Palm Island communities.

Kacoda’s father, Bruce Baker, is a member of the Wakka Wakka people and is currently residing in the Cherbourg Community.

What activities will the child be involved in to support and preserve their sense of cultural identity and links? What help do they need to take part in these activities?

Kacoda’s participation in activities, events and community programs can provide her with opportunities to learn about and understand her cultural heritage and identity. This will help her to grow up strong and proud, knowing who she is, where she comes from, and how she fits into her community.

The following activities, events and programs have been identified by Kacoda, her family and members of her safety and support network, as being significant to ensuring Kacoda will develop, build and maintain a connection to her family, community and culture:

  • Palm Island Spring Festival on Palm Island—Kacoda attends this event each year in September. Kacoda said she loves going to the festival and seeing her cousins, aunties and uncles, watching the dances, eating traditional food and swimming. Her maternal grandmother, Ms Anne Smith, has said that attending this festival is a significant event in which the families that are connected to Palm Island come together, celebrate and connect.
  • Baker family reunion at Cherbourg—Kacoda travels to Cherbourg every April to attend the family reunion for her dad’s extended family.  Kacoda’s dad said it’s important for Kacoda and her siblings to spend time with their family to keep her connected to them. Kacoda said she enjoys afternoon walks with her paternal grandmother, Dulcie Baker, and loves seeing her extended family.
  • Children Dreaming Youth Gathering—this is organised and run by local Elders, Aunty Sue Jones and Uncle Steve Walker, who have played a significant role in Kacoda’s life. Kacoda attends the gathering every week at the Rockhampton Dreamtime Cultural Centre, where she is in the choir and sings in Darumbal language and learns traditional art, cooking and dancing. Kacoda said it’s fun learning about her culture with her cousins and friends. Kacoda said her Elders know a lot and she likes spending time with them so she can learn heaps.
  • Monthly Skype contact with Kacoda’s paternal family at Cherbourg. Kacoda’s paternal grandmother, Sarah Baker, will organise the Skype to coincide with their monthly family dinner, when family will be at her house. This will be a great way for Kacoda to see and speak with her family members.

Kacoda’s dad Bruce has identified there are several extended family members who reside in the Cherbourg community with whom it would be beneficial for Kacoda to have a relationship so she can maintain her connection with her extended family. This is especially important, as she lives a few hours’ drive away from her dad’s community. Kacoda’s carer is willing to facilitate this process during school holidays so that Kacoda can develop a relationship with her extended family networks.

The CSO, family and carer have agreed to develop a life booklet to include photos and stories of Kacoda’s experiences, which will ultimately support Kacoda in building an understanding of her family and cultural and community connections as well as capture precious memories for Kacoda to have. These pictures and stories can also be uploaded to Kacoda’s kicbox.

What support does the child’s carer need to maintain and support the arrangements and activities for the child? What support and help do they also need to feel comfortable and confident in attending and participating in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or other cultural community events?

The CSSC manager has approved the payment of financial costs for the travel expenses and fuel costs for Kacoda to:

  • fly to Palm Island every September and stay for the duration of the Palm Island Spring Festival with her maternal grandmother, Anne Smith
  • drive to Cherbourg every April school holidays to attend the family reunion of her father’s family.

Note: In Cherbourg, Kacoda will be staying with her paternal grandmother, Sarah Baker. Kacoda’s Aunty Mary Baker will transport Kacoda to and from Cherbourg in April 2019, and the CSSC manager has approved the payment of half of the petrol costs.

The approval of this travel for Kacoda is important, because Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and communities are very different and have their own unique histories, beliefs, values, customs and traditions. Child Safety must ensure that Kacoda is given every opportunity to connect with her family, her culture and the communities to which she belongs.

The cultural practice advisor and Kacoda’s carer, Margaret Page, have identified the following supports that will help to maintain Kacoda’s connections with her family, community and culture:

  • an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mentor, such as another carer, cultural practice advisor or another Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person
  • provision of stories, books, artwork, and information from family, communities and the internet that relate to the specific cultural groups to which Kacoda belongs  
  • someone attending community events with the carer for the first time
  • introducing the carer to Elders and community members of significance to Kacoda
  • helping the carer understand the history, culture and current issues
  • providing the carer with an annual events calendar
  • providing the carer with a list of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services and contacts
  • ensuring the local community Elders are identified in the cultural support plan
  • providing a map of Aboriginal Australia and information about the clans and communities to which Kacoda belongs.

People with whom arrangements have been made for contact with the child to support and develop their cultural identity.

Name Relationship Contact details
Julie Smith Mother Monthly visits plus weekly Skype
Bruce Baker Father Monthly visits plus monthly Skype
Anne Smith Maternal grandmother Monthly phone call or Skype
Sarah Baker Paternal grandmother Monthly Skype with extended family at Cherbourg
Mary Baker Paternal aunty Monthly Skype and transport to Cherbourg
Sue Jones

Community Elder

Rockhampton

Dreamtime Cultural Centre
Attends 2-hour visit after school each week
Steve Walker

Community Elder

Rockhampton

Dreamtime Cultural Centre
Attends 2-hour visit after school each week

 

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