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Cultural Awareness

Defence is committed to making its ADF members and APS employees aware of the culture, customs and traditions of Indigenous people.

The Directorate of Indigenous Affairs (DIA), in consultation with Defence’s training institutions and the Defence Learning Branch, has developed a Cultural Awareness Indigenous (CA(I)) Learning Framework.

The Framework is focused on increasing Defence’s capability by ensuring all employees have a better understanding of the culture, history and traditions of Indigenous Australians. The framework provides a five-tiered approach to CA(I) training. As an individual progresses through their ADF or APS career, they will undertake various tiers of training. For example, when ADFA students learn about historical military figures, an indigenous member will be one option. The exception is the specialist level, which will require more tailored training and learning for those Defence members working in Indigenous policy and programs.

Implementation will be through embedding cultural content into existing training packages. Defence’s training institutions are required to review their training material and where possible incorporate Indigenous history and culture. This approach will ensure the Indigenous cultural awareness training becomes integrated into existing training and becomes business as usual.

As a starting point, Defence currently has an online e-learning package which provides a base-level introduction to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture; with a particular focus on members in Defence. To date, over 8,300 defence members have completed this training.

The CA(I) Learning Framework is a key element of the Defence Reconciliation Action Plan 2010-2014 and the Defence Indigenous Employment Strategy (IES). The CA(I) Framework was endorsed by the Secretary and Chief of Defence Force Advisory Committee (SCAC) in December 2014.