Cultural Protocols in Aboriginal Insights Education

Essential Meaning of Protocol: a system of rules or guidelines that explain the correct conduct and procedures to be followed in formal situations .

Aboriginal Insights has developed a Pathway through levels of Cultural Awareness learning called Protocols.

This is so people can measure their journey on the road to reconciliation.

Some other Cultural Awareness organisations provide one off training that allows employers to tick boxes. 

Aboriginal Insights believes that if you are going to embark on this journey, it is to make a difference in your world.   It needs to be given the respect and diligence so the outcomes can be appreciated by all.

Those that learn from Aboriginal Insights take their learnings back to their workplace, family, friends, and into their community. A positive domino effect. Sharing this new understanding of what Reconciliation means and how to set ourselves on a path to reaching it. It is an understanding of how we have arrived at this point in time. The beliefs that originated and then changed over the years, and while a great deal of progress has been made, there is still so much more to achieve.

Only Aboriginal Insights offers certification for undertaking their Course Protocols. Displaying this badging on your website, shows others that you are committed to making a difference in Closing the Gaps. This is company culture that starts at the top, with leading by example. Your company, your management and your staff all believe and work together to make a difference.

The Three Levels of Protocols 

Aboriginal Insights currently offers three levels of cultural education defined as Protocols. 
Guidelines that explain the correct conduct and procedures to be followed in building relationships. We recognise the importance of ongoing education that strengthens our understanding, generates respect, and gives individuals or organisations the confidence to be leaders of best practice that leads to positively meaningful change for our Aboriginal Communities. 

aboriginal insight protocol 1

First Protocol: Cultural Understanding

Your first steps on your cultural education journey is to develop an Understanding of why there are gaps of inequality; what your sector and workplace are doing to respond to this truth; what our country is reconciling; and how Aboriginal Engagement requires a culturally informed approach to be successful. This First Protocol ensures that you develop the required understanding and empathy to appreciate the importance of the spaces of Closing the Gaps and Reconciliation. Most workplaces skip this level of cultural education which leads to their workforce lacking the essential understanding as to why Aboriginal specific commitments are being made. 

Aboriginal Insights offers three cultural education options as part of this First Protocol that includes:

  • Workshop, “Empowering Respect and Relationships”,
  • Online Learning Course, “Cultural Awareness”, and
  • Best Selling Book; “Essential Aboriginal Insights”.

Second Protocol: Cultural Respect

This next level is about learning the unique cultural identities of an individual; family; organisation; Community; or business. It is also about learning the cultural differences relevant to knowing how to effectively engage with Aboriginal People. 

This Second Protocol extends to:

  • Traditional Owner specific cultural education;
  • Learning about the Aboriginal Community System operating in your location; and
  • Developing and implementing your Aboriginal Engagement Strategy that recognises, respects, and accommodates the diversity of cultural differences among Aboriginal people’s. 

Traditional Owner Specific cultural education 

All workplaces must learn as a minimum, who the traditional owners are of where they are located and operate from. Your Traditional Owners are an important Aboriginal stakeholder that you must commit to building respect and relationships with.

aboriginal insights protocol 3

Third Protocol: Cultural Leadership

With the first and second levels of cultural education behind you; you will be ready for cultural education that focusses on Leadership. This is for organisations that have built up the foundation of Aboriginal Engagement so that it is almost second nature. There is no You and Me, only US working together. Our workplace integrates with community. Having successfully achieved the third protocol, this is an accreditation to showcase and to provide encouragement to others. 

Aboriginal Insights will work with your workplace to develop a Workshop designed to your specific needs. This might include improving relationships with specific Aboriginal stakeholders; focussing on recruitment and retention of Aboriginal staff; or support with Aboriginal procurement; or community social impact. You decide what you want to learn as part of your Leadership journey. 

Traditional Owner Specific Education

All workplaces must learn as a minimum, who the traditional owners are of where they are located and operate from. Your Traditional Owners are an important Aboriginal stakeholder that you must commit to building respect and relationships with. 


Traditional Owner Engagement Workshop

There are some rules here:

  • only traditional owners can provide this cultural education;
  • one cultural awareness training delivered by a specific traditional owner is not reflective of the story and cultural knowledge of all traditional owners;
  • don’t fall into a one-size-fits-all stereotype of traditional owners;
  • commit to ongoing learning from different traditional owner families;
  • learn about the cultural protocols and expectations of your Traditional Owners

Aboriginal Insights offers a Workshop that is about Ngarluma Culture. This offers insights into the layers of identity of Ngarluma people; our family structures; and our rights, interests, responsibilities, and obligations that often clash with employment or other mainstream western rights, interests, obligations or responsibilities. This Workshop is only delivered to workplaces operating on Ngarluma Country (City of Karratha area). 

Aboriginal Engagement Specific cultural education

Aboriginal Insights's Founder Jolleen Hicks, has developed a model of how to define/ describe your Aboriginal Community; and take a culturally informed approach to how best to then engage. 

Aboriginal Insights offers two cultural education options as part of the Aboriginal Engagement These include:

  • Workshop, “Empowering Outcomes”, and 
  • Online Learning Course, “Developing Your Aboriginal Engagement Strategy”.

This level of your cultural education is the action part. What can your workplace do as part of Closing the Gaps and Reconciliation. This is where you want to clearly identify the purpose for engagement; who you need to engage with; the cultural difference of the who; and how to engage based on those cultural differences.  

Acknowledgement of Country

I recognise and acknowledge that we live on Aboriginal lands in Australia. I pay my respects to the many separate Aboriginal peoples and their cultures of the lands of this country. I am grateful to yours and my old people for their strength, resilience and survival, so that present and future generations can continue to walk these lands with pride.

I personally recognise my Elders and thank them for their courage, strength, and spirit that they continue to walk with to inspire us younger ones.

My work through Aboriginal Insights is about supporting and empowering respect for Aboriginal people and cultures from across Australia.