We are all becoming increasingly aware of the need to be more aware of different cultures and indeed the Aboriginal culture is no different. Depending on your working environment and sometimes your social circle may determine to what lengths you need to go to, to become completely aware of different cultures. This is where cross-cultural awareness training comes in very useful especially if it is required in a working environment. To put it simply, Cross Cultural Awareness is the ability to look away from ourselves and have an awareness and understanding of the cultural values and customs of other cultures. You will find this across all cultures, for instance, the culture that we have here in Australia is very different to that in say Japan. What is acceptable and normal practice in one culture may be unusual or even offensive in another and this is something that we always need to be aware of. When it comes to the Aborigines we need an awareness and respect of the different value systems handed down in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, in relation to family, land, sea and heritage. It is only natural that many of us are stuck in what would commonly be referred to as our comfort zone. Cross cultural awareness brings us out of that comfort zone and challenges not only our own attitudes but those of others. It involves altering mindsets and changing people misconceptions and as a result, it will bring communities and cultures closer together. In reality this creates a better environment for everyone to live and often breaks down barriers that quite simply, shouldn’t be there. When you participate in a training program you will learn how to communicate effectively with Aborigines, understanding their culture, their society and their beliefs. There are certain “Aboriginal Protocols” that should be observed, something that very few people would be aware of as they would view it as being far away from the norm. This is something that you would learn during the training in a workshop. So, what will you learn? Firstly, you need to understand their culture in order that you can become aware of it. Aboriginal Kinship then needs to be understood as this will help you to appreciate far more why things are done. This will unquestionably enhance your knowledge and understanding and when tied in with key historical events that have occurred in Australia over the last 250 years you will gain a deeper understanding. Of course, once you have this understanding you will be able to compare and contrast lifestyles and understand what is unique to the Aboriginal culture. This will include social determinants and Aboriginal health and wellbeing not to mention their own language and ways of communication. Finally, you will be able to identify methods of moving for forward and breaking down more barriers in the future, perhaps even preventing these barriers from being put up in the first place.