Chapter 10 of My Time, Our Place (MyTop) is all about Cultural Competence. If you haven’t read it lately, I encourage you to grab a copy and spend twenty or thirty minutes reading and reflecting on this chapter which is only three pages long.
As OSHC educators, in order to be culturally competent, we need to know ourselves and understand our own “values, beliefs and attitudes” before we can truly understand others. That can be a full-time job on its own because we are all such complex creatures. But try we must, because our words and actions do impact on the lives of precious others: the children in our care.
Because it is our job to create “proud and confident learners”, we need to “promote equity and respect for diversity for all as well as a strong approach to countering racism and bias”.
But how do we do this? Well, have a look at Chapter 10 which will point you in the right direction.
As well as challenging our own biases, we can all do something in our services to show recognition and respect for diversity. We can display some visible sign of the cultures from which our OSHC children belong. And I know a lot of services do a great job of this, especially with regard to validating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
You could do this too, with one resource from Reconciliation Australia that you may not know about. It’s called a RAP – no, not that kind of rap, but it could be if you wanted to do that. This RAP stands for Reconciliation Action Plan and includes a school-age program called Narragunnawali, which means peace, alive, wellbeing and coming together. Have a look at these on: http://www.reconciliation.org.au/schools/
“It is the intent of the Framework that we all strengthen our cultural competence”. How do you do this, as an individual or as a team of educators in your OSHC service? It would be great to hear from you so we can all learn from each other and be spectacularly culturally competent!