(CS EdX Sessions) Robinson, Lewis, Skinner, Hill, Bilton, O’Shea, Stenlake

Title: Journeys of Cultural Competence: maintaining wellbeing and building resilience

Presenters: Caroline Robinson, Melinda Lewis, Kay Skinner, Barb Hill, Natalia Bilton, Simone O’Shea, Bruce Stenlake

Representatives from: School of Community Health, Faculty of Science, Division of Learning and Teaching, Faculty of Science, School of Biomedical Sciences & Gulaay Indigenous Australian Curriculum and Resources Team

Session Type: Podcast Q&A

When: Wednesday, November 18th 2020 @ 3pm – 4pm

Where: https://charlessturt.zoom.us/j/61526325839

Podcast available here (CS Stories Anchor.fm channel)

Abstract: This Podcast will explore themes which emerged from a cross-sectional survey about cultural competency knowledge of 101 health and social care academics. Three of these themes have particular relevance to maintaining wellbeing and building resilience, in what have been uncertain times during the Covid-19 imposed restrictions – reflection on self; enabling positive conversations; and building capacity.

Covid-19 has highlighted the value of human relationships and connection. These survey themes speak to the importance of understanding self and the importance of conversation and communication. This connection with like-minded people is vital to the development of communities of practice at Charles Sturt, enabling the sharing of experience in learning and teaching.

The restrictions imposed by Covid-19 have provided an opportunity for time away from face to face contact on campus affording a space for self-reflection, including reflection on the meaning of ‘wellbeing’ and a recalibration of the work-life balance. It is an interesting paradox that whilst Covid-19 has restricted our physical inter-connectivity, it has expanded the possibilities of communication unbounded by space and place. Additionally, living and working in relative isolation has heightened awareness of our and others’ wellbeing. The different ways in which people have coped during this time illustrates so clearly human diversity and the importance of ‘Active listening. Asking not assuming’ (survey participant anon.). Resilience is built through experience in a supportive environment. Conversations about cultural competency have extended beyond a meeting room, enabling access for a broader audience within and outside the institution.

The vision to implement an Indigenous curriculum across the ‘whole of institution’ will require interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-cultural collaboration at scale. Facilitating the development of communities of practice across the institution is a vital mechanism to meet the support needs identified by health and social care academics and to reduce the uncertainty which is associated with journeys of cultural competence. If the institution is committed to maintaining the wellbeing of staff and building resilience, attention must be directed to the experiences shared by this group of health and social care academics who have illuminated important issues and offered potential solutions.