2989. Hon Alison Xamon to the Leader of the House representing the Minister for Child Protection:

(1)  Over the last five years, has the Department of Communities (or the then Department for Child Protection) undertaken or commissioned any work to review the cultural safety of departmental practice?

(2)  If yes to (1), will the Minister please table a copy of any review reports?

(3)  If no to (2), why not?

Hon Sue Ellery replied:

(1)–(3) Yes. The Department of Communities (Communities) is currently developing an implementation plan for an Aboriginal Cultural Capability Reform Program (ACCRP).

In addition to the ACCRP, Communities has also undertaken other activities and made changes to strengthen the cultural safety of departmental practice.

In October 2019, an Aboriginal Cultural Council, comprising respected Aboriginal Elders and leaders from across Western Australia, was established to strengthen Communities’ commitment to Aboriginal outcomes. The role of the Aboriginal Cultural Council is to advise the Communities Leadership Team.

In May 2020, Communities implemented a new organisational structure that demonstrates a clear commitment to Aboriginal outcomes and integrated delivery of services to the community of Western Australia. The new structure includes a dedicated Aboriginal Outcomes division, led by a Yamatji Malgana Assistant Director General reporting directly to the Director General.

A range of other measures and employment programs have also been introduced aimed at improving the cultural capability of Communities’ workforce and providing support for Aboriginal employees, including:

A Governance Aboriginal Outcomes Committee (Committee) that is chaired by the Aboriginal Outcomes Assistant Director General. This Committee will oversee the development of a comprehensive and coordinated approach across service, delivery, strategy, policy and activity that directly impacts Aboriginal people and communities.

An Aboriginal Cultural Appreciation Course covering Aboriginal cultural traditions, present day impacts of historical events, and providing practical skills required to work effectively with Aboriginal communities across Western Australia.

A series of Aboriginal cultural awareness and cultural responsiveness workshops, developed with the support and assistance of Dr Richard Walley OAM, a well-known and respected Noongar Elder, to support the move of Communities’ head office to Fremantle (Walyalup).

An Aspiring Cross-Cultural Leadership program providing Communities’ emerging Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal leaders with an introduction to leadership, and focusing on developing sustainable cross-cultural partnerships to improve outcomes for Aboriginal families.

A range of professional and cultural supports to Aboriginal employees, including an Aboriginal Cadetship Program, an Aboriginal Employment Register, and an Aboriginal Graduate Program.

The ACCRP will be informed by recommendations from a range of reports.

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