Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
The care and support sector welcomes people from diverse backgrounds. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people bring unique insights and ways of connecting that can make a big difference in the lives of the people they care for or support.
An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who requires care or support will often feel most comfortable when the person who works with them is also an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person. Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people who provide care or support to an Elder are doing important work and can find it very rewarding.
Having experience and understanding of a person’s history and culture can help you relate to someone and better understand their needs, their challenges and how to help them to reach their goals.
Wellbeing isn’t just about being physically healthy – although a care or support worker can help improve health by assisting with things like meal planning, exercise and keeping the home environment clean.
It’s also about cultural, spiritual, social and emotional wellbeing. Having a care and support worker who is also an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person can improve a person’s wellbeing. It can make them more comfortable knowing the person helping them understands their experiences, priorities, values and/or language. This can be particularly important for Elders who require care and support. Understanding and respecting cultural history and how this may impact care, such as the trauma experienced by the Stolen Generations, is also very important.
Of course, every person is different and the type of support you provide will vary. This can be due to the reason the person needs care or support. For example, it may be because they are getting older, experiencing mental health problems or have a disability. Each person will have their individual needs and own goals they want to achieve.
The support you provide might include:
- providing companionship, a good yarn and emotional support and assistance to keep in contact with family and friends
- domestic assistance, such as house cleaning, shopping, laundry, bill paying or doing errands
- personal care, such as help with showering, toileting, dressing, eating or moving around the house
- helping the person develop and maintain skills – for example, taking public transport, creating a budget, preparing meals or applying for jobs
- assisting the person to participate in social outings, recreational activities and community or ceremonial events.
- support during illness or end of life, such as return to Country
- assisting the person to contribute to community and culture, such as teaching or mentoring younger Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.
For more resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people thinking about working in the care and support sector, see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources.
This page includes information about working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as a care and support worker. For information about other types of jobs in the care and support sector, including allied health, nursing, advocacy and other specialised roles, see Types of jobs.