An essential form of psychological literacy that is required in all psychology courses is an understanding of and ability to work with the many cultural groups that make up a given society. Psychology as a profession is part of a society that is shaped and directed by the history, values, norms and biases that characterise a cultural and temporal location in history. Therefore, this chapter argues that cultural competence should be the foundational lens through which all psychological knowledge is viewed. The chapter begins with a historical positioning of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the context of colonisation and the ongoing consequences of disadvantaged derived from that. The chapter argues for the inclusion of cultural competence as a vehicle to overcoming social disadvantage and identifying the hidden barriers to equality. The chapter provides personal experiences both as students and educators, and discusses developments in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies in the psychology curriculum, with detailed descriptions of particular initiatives. While this chapter focuses on the Australian context, the issues raised are likely to be applicable to a global perspective.
The information contained on this website has been sourced by the Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project (AIPEP) and AIPEP 2. The first AIPEP was funded by the Australian Government Office of Teaching and Learning. AIPEP 2 is part of the Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing Project, funded by the Million Minds Mission Grant. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office of Teaching and Learning or the Million Minds Mission Grant.
Several of the images used throughout this website are credited to Chris Lewis