The Indigenous Program: Working with Community

About the program

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On this page: Overview; Major Achievements; Training Approach; Future Directions


Overview

An Indigenous Program was officially established at The Bouverie Centre in 2008.

The aims of this state-wide program are to work with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander workers to:

  • Increase ‘working with families’ capacity across mental health and welfare services
  • Improve access to high quality family healing services
  • Train, develop and support a professionalised Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander family healing workforce
  • Contribute to research around Indigenous education, capacity building, workforce development and other areas relevant to the Indigenous Program and the Communities we work with
  • Deliver professional development training within the work sector

The Indigenous Program began with an extensive consultation process. Program staff met with numerous Community representatives across Victoria seeking their recommendations as to what type of professional development training would best support Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander child and family workers. The message was absolutely clear – Aboriginal Communities wanted a university award level qualification over and above any other training program. La Trobe University responded to this need and actively supported the enrolment of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students into a Postgraduate Certificate of Family Therapy.

In addition to the delivery of University award training for workers supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities, the Indigenous Program’s activities now include:

  • Continued consultation around training programs for child, health and family workers
  • Specialist clinical services such as the provision of family therapy/healing for Aboriginal and/or Torres Stait Islander  families and secondary consultation
  • Collaborating with the National Network of Indigenous Family Therapists (NNIFT)
  • Delivery of professional development training days at The Bouverie Centre. This training is offered to our graduates at a reduced rate

Major achievements of the Indigenous Program

  • With regards to the delivery of University award training:
    • Outstanding graduation rate of 86% with 93 graduates over eight cohorts
    • 49% of graduates are now undertaking increased clinical duties with families
    • 16% of graduates have taken up senior positions in mainstream agencies as a result of receiving academic credentials
    • 5.3% have gone on to do their Masters in Clinical Family Therapy
  • Expansion of the Postgraduate Certificate in Family Therapy program to include Cape York Peninsular 2014 and 2017
  • Comprehensive evaluations of the program from 2008-2010
  • Development of a five-day Introduction to Family Work training package
  • The formation of NNIFT, the National Network of Indigenous Family Therapists
  • Increased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-specific research in the field of Indigenous education
  • Capacity building and workforce development
  • Increased access to therapeutic services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families
  • • Ongoing commitment to the Indigenous specific therapeutic team, Workin’ with the Mob
  • Greater awareness of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander protocols and practices within The Bouverie Centre

What makes our landmark tertiary training and supervision model so successful?

  • This high quality training is delivered within Community
  • A climate of cultural safety is highly valued and maintained for both the students and the trainers

This training model results in a:

  • Positive learning experience for the students
  • Reciprocity of learning between students and trainers, trainers and students

Future directions:

  • Supporting NNIFT to become a chapter of AAFT (Australian Association of Family Therapy)
  • Creating research partnerships with the Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations
  • Ongoing workforce capacity building to ensure better outcomes for rural and urban families
  • Ensuring Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander families can access quality services which are culturally sensitive
  • A nation-wide strategy for training Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander workers in a Postgraduate Certificate in Family Therapy
  • Engaging in research partnerships to identify and understand what truly makes a difference for families, and their workers

News

New Edition of Yarn’n Up Now Available

Yarn’n Up is a Bouverie Centre e-newsletter, compiled for the students and graduates of the Indigenous Program’s (post) Graduate Certificate in Family Therapy. It’s all about our graduates and current students, recent events at

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News

New client-centred framework to assist services launched

  The Bouverie Centre has recently developed and launched, From Individuals to Families – A Client-Centred Framework for Involving Families, to assist services in offering a comprehensive response to the needs of families in a way that keeps the client

find out more
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