Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Indigenous Cultural Competence

Student Benefits

Through the student voice

… this GLO begins or continues my journey towards Indigenous cultural competence. Learning about Indigenous knowledges and developing my cultural competence through a range of learning and cultural experiences with my teachers and peers will enable me to hear many voices and diverse perspectives, including my own ongoing reflections. Over time I will come to acknowledge, understand, respect and appreciate the Wiradjuri phrase yindiamarra winhanga-nha’ – “the wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live well in a world worth living in, from the voices of the Wiradjuri people. This will help guide my learning now, and better prepare me for my future professional practice, returning to community, or working on the global stage”

Learning Outcomes

Bring them on a journey

Practice in ways that show a commitment to social justice and the processes of reconciliation based on understanding the culture, experiences, histories and contemporary issues of Indigenous Australian communities

Critically examine personal power, privilege and profession within the broader context of the history, assumptions and characteristics that structure Australian society, and the way those factors shape historical and contemporary engagement with Indigenous communities and Indigenous people Understand specific cultural and historical patterns that have structured Indigenous lives in the past and the ways in which these patterns continue to be expressed in contemporary Australia Practice in ways that show a commitment to social justice and the processes of reconciliation through inclusive practices and citizenship


Teaching & Learning – Walking a path  together

Universities Australia (2011) National  Best Practice Framework offers a pedagogical scaffold for the  development of ICC in undergraduate degrees. This staged approach aims to gradually  build people’s confidence in and capacity to communicate and work within a  range of settings and situations. Students require space to listen, discuss,  reflect, ponder, ask questions, critique and inquire into a range of  perspectives on a topic, thereby helping them to see connections, to build  their stance and identity.

As an ongoing developmental journey, students will

  • Understand  behaviours that comply with culturally appropriate protocols and guidelines
  • Develop  skills of critical reflexivity
  • Reflect  on own values and beliefs
  • Develop  knowledge of cultural frameworks, beliefs and values
  • Apply knowledge, skills and values  underpinning ICC in a range of professional & personal contexts

Course Requirements

Rich in a context

  • Assessment items calling for ethical judgements in a  professional context that includes Indigenous Australian individuals,  communities and/or lands.

Requirements at the subject  level have been articulated in the Indigenous  Education Strategy for all IKC subjects from the School of  Indigenous Australian Studies (SIAS), discipline specific subjects and hybrid subjects.

Teaching Practices

Privileging Elders’ voices

Teaching practices start with your ‘journey within’, your cultural  identities and beliefs as a teacher, your current approaches to teaching and  student learning, and being clear on your pedagogical purpose.  We aim to support our students to develop into  people whose ways of knowing, being and doing can flourish within the diverse  cultural contexts they reside in, and encounter.

A strengths-based  model underpins teaching practices to ensure all students have exposure to  a range of cultural narratives - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander success  stories of challenge, inquiry, justice, courage and resilience. Privileging Elders’ voices can  be achieved through:

  • immersive  on country experiences with Elders
  • co-  & team teaching with an Aboriginal academic, Elder or cultural expert
  • guest  lecturers from the practice/community
  • hosting  a seminar series with authentic speakers
  • engaging  in forms place-based learning and community engagement
  • inviting  alumni and research students to share experiences and insights


Opportunities for progression

The Cultural Competence  Pedagogical Framework of the National  Best Practice Framework encourages us to build and develop  competency through strategies that include essays, reflective journaling and  assessment items calling for ethical judgements in a professional context.

Support & resources

Chat, view, find embed

Please  speak with:

  • Your Course Director,  Subject Convener about ideas for your subject
  • A GLO Guru in  each Faculty to assist you with teaching practices and assessment strategies
  • The GLO Manager, ICC GLO Advisors, the Curriculum  & Pedagogy Lead, Learning Academy
  • Head of the School  of Indigenous Australian Studies (SIAS)

Visit Gulaay - home for Indigenous  Cultural Competency

Watch a Think-Piece – “A journey for staff and students”

Locate resources through:

Protocols  & Guide for working with Indigenous Staff