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                                                                                                                      •   is a community’s way of life, including
                                                                                                                          their ideas, beliefs and language
                                                                                                                      •   provides us with guidelines for how we
                                                                                                                          perceive and interpret the world
                                                                                                                      •   affects everyone
                                                                                                                      •   is individual
                                                                                                                      •   is always changing
                                                                                                                      •   creates similarities and differences

                                                                                                                                                                       Cultural competence
                                                                                                                      Cultural                                         is a personal journey
                                                                      Community participation                         competence means...                              •   prepare yourself
                                                                      •                                                                                                •   choose your own route
                                                                          involve communities in the support          •   discovering culture                          •   have new experiences
                                                                           you provide                                •   recognising culture                          •   learn new and better routes and pathways
                                                                      •   work with cultural brokers                  •   understanding culture                        •   enjoy the scenery and company of fellow
                                                                                                                      •   working with culture                             travellers you meet
                                                                      •   consult communities
                                                                                                                                                                       •   gain a sense of satisfaction & achievement
                                                                      •   conduct outreach activities        you can provide the best                       as you fulfil goals you set and reach each
                                                                                                                      support for consumers                                place you planned to get to

             Family involvement
             •     involve the family in the support                                                                                                                                                                                           Becoming
                   you provide                                                                                                                                                                                                                 culturally competent
             •     recognise family dynamics, strengths

                   and individuality
                   have ongoing contact with families
                   start a NESB support group
                   involve the family when you
                   evaluate your work
                                                                                                                      How to be                                                                                                                happens over time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   so enjoy the journey, don’t obsess about
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   the destination!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   regularly update where you are on the

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   journey by doing a self-assessment - see
             Always ask the consumer if they want family                                                                                                                                                                                           the manual for details!
             to be involved. Always ask families how they
             would like to be involved.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               To put changes into place
               When you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Ask yourself
               do an assessment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               •   what am I trying to achieve?
               •    explain you are there to support the                                                                                                                                                                                       •   how will I know that a change
                    consumer and their family/carer                                                                                                                                                                                                is an improvement?
               •    look at all aspects of the consumer’s life                                                                                                                                                                                 •   what changes can I make that will
               •    involve the consumer and their                                                                                                                                                                                                 result in an improvement?

                    family / carer
                    listen, offer choices and tailor options to                                                       A guide to cultural competence                                                                                           So go and
                    the needs of individuals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               •   try something
               Be creative in the questions you ask and the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               •   notice the consequences
               way you word them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               •   learn from them
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               •   act on what you have learned

                                                                  Specific questions to
                                                                  think creatively about
                                                                  (See manual for details & more examples)
                                                                                                                                                                       Think critically
                                                                  •    what kind of support do you want/need?
                                                                  •    what health/support services are available                                                      •   question statements,                                                Be aware of
                                                                       through your community?                                                                             opinions or assumptions                                             your own culture
                                                                                                                                                                       •   find evidence
                                                                  •    do you maintain any spiritual practices (eg,                                                    •   reflect on the evidence                                              Everyone has a cultural background.
                                                                       special prayer times)?                                                                          •   form a new opinion                                                  Be aware of the impact of yours.
                                                                  •    what language are you most comfortable                                                          •   communicate your new
                                                                       speaking?                                                                                           opinions to others
                                                                  •    what behaviour do you expect of your
                                                                       guests? Taking shoes off?
                                                                       Accepting food/drink?

                                                                                                                                                                     Be aware of the culture
               Cross-cultural                                                                                                                                        of others
                                                                                                                                                                     Learn about cultures and how they might
                                                                                                                                                                     influence an individual.
               •    don’t shout!
                                                                                                                                                                     Look for and get information on:
               •    use simple words
                                                                                                                                                                     • how cultures respond to and explain
               •    take your time
               •    be aware that some words may not
                                                                                                                                                                     • the language and communication styles
                    translate into other languages
                                                                                                                                                                        people use
               •    don’t use professional jargon,
                                                                                                                                                                     • what is considered polite / social customs
                    abbreviations, or technical terms
                                                                                                                                                                     • days and events of cultural or religious
               Using a trained and accredited
               interpreter helps!
                                                                                                                                                                     • nutrition and dietary practices
                                                                                                                                                                     Ask the consumer & their family their opinion

                                                                      Be aware of non-verbal
                                                                      communication styles
                                                                      (Your own and the other person’s)

                                                                      For example
                                                                      •   eye contact
                                                                                                                      Respect and work
                                                                                                                      with differences!                                                                                                                     MDAA
                                                                      •   use of space
                                                                      •   use and meaning of touch
                                                                      •   hand gestures                                                                             Check out our website at
                                                                                                                                                                    Get a copy of “Cultural Competence Works! A manual to put it into Practice” which shows you more on how to put this poster into practice.
                                                                                                                                                                    Write to MDAA, P.O. Box 9381, Harris Park, NSW 2150, Australia or phone (02) 9891 6400

Culture_poster.indd 1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   31/3/05 2:44:54 PM

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