First Nations Workforce - what really matters?



(Image credit: AHCSA)


In 2018 and 2019, Catherine from PeerThinc was lucky enough to be involved in a project between Aboriginal Health Council of SA, The Lowitja Institute, University of South Australia and SAHMRI (South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute.


The project interviewed over 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, like her, working in health and human services and was proudly run by Aboriginal-led research team. In both regional and metropolitan settings, First Nations people were interviewed privately about their experiences in the workforce with a view to providing strategies to promote supportive and respectful workplaces.


Cath happened to be interviewed twice, a year apart and across one role ending and one role starting and was able to contribute about both amazing experiences within a workforce and the reasons why she left her previous role.


The First Nations people interviewed highlighted how social connectedness and knowledge of kinship structures is vital to work, and Cath would argue one’s own sense of well-being and is essential to sustaining the resilience of our First Nations people.


Working for one’s own community was identified as the main motivation for getting up and going to work for the day and is what keeps Aboriginal employees coming back every day. When all people attend supportive and respectful workplaces, the benefits are great for both the staff member and the individual.


When it comes to resilience, the project identified 7 ways designed to ‘staying strong’ in a workforce!


The 7 ways include:

1. Cultural identity

2. Community and Connection

3. Balance

4. Self-care

5. Taking control

6. Growth opportunities

7. Celebrating the wins


All of these strategies are evident in the elements of the Resilience at Work framework (R@W), in which we proudly endorse.


At PeerThinc, we believe that the Resilience at Work model of sustaining resilience would do well to meet the needs of Aboriginal workforce and are now in the process of progressing forward our consultations with First Nations People.


If you would like to be a part of this process and/or you would like to learn more about how to build your Resilience at Work – please reach out to any of us.


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