An understanding of a person’s cultural identity can lead to better connection with them. Cultural identity is as unique as each snowflake or leaf. What is true for one person may be different for another, even within the same cultural group.

Diversity is about the differences. Yet, when we look for things we have in common we gain understanding and learn to value other perspectives.

Due to bias, misunderstanding and fear people can feel unsafe to identify with their cultural group. Trauma or shame can create barriers.

We have the opportunity to discover the person’s social, cultural, language, religious, spiritual, psychological and medical preferences. Understanding this we can then support and celebrate what is meaningful to the individual.

In this module we will look at:

  • Understanding cultural identity
  • Working with cultural diversity
  • The effects of stereotypes and bias
  • How to embrace diversity

Strength lies in differences, not in similarities

– Stephen R. Covey

Standards Mapping

Click the coloured headings below to view how the content in this lesson correlates with the Aged Care and National Disability Service Standards:

Aged Care Standards

  • Consumers feel accepted and valued whatever their needs, ability, gender, age, religion, spirituality, mental health status, ethnicity, background or sexual orientation 
  • The workforce can describe how they recognise, respect and promote diversity and cultural awareness in their everyday practice 
  • Assessment and planning is based on ongoing partnership with the consumer and others that the consumer wishes to involve in assessment, planning and review of the consumer’s care and services 
  • Seeking similarities between workers and consumers enhances connections, promotes better outcomes and strengthens capacity while reducing barriers or harm 
  • Information about the consumer’s needs and preferences is documented and communicated within the organisation, and with others where responsibility for care is shared
  • Each consumer gets the services and supports for daily living that are important for their health and well-being and that enable them to do the things they want to do 
  • Worker observes sacred, cultural and religious practices. They can also share days that are meaningful to their own culture or religion 
  • Members of the workforce describe how they have supported the emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being of consumers
  • The workforce is recruited, trained, equipped and supported to deliver the outcomes required by these standards 
  • Worker clarifying own culturally diverse experiences, values and beliefs promotes cultural safety of residents and other workers 

Disability Service Standards

  • Individuals are treated with dignity and respect 
  • Individual freedom of expression is recognised and promoted free from discrimination
  • The service works together with individuals to connect to family, friends and their chosen communities 
  • Staff understand, respect and facilitate individual interests and preferences, in relation to work, learning, social activities and community connection over time 
  • The service uses strategies that promote community and cultural connection for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • The service works together with an individual and, with consent, their family, friends, carer or advocate to identify their strengths, needs and life goals 
  • Service planning and delivery is responsive to diversity including disability, age, gender, culture, heritage, language, faith, sexual identity, relationship status, and other relevant factors
  • The service uses person-centred approaches including the active involvement of people with disability, families, friends, carers and advocates to review policies, practices, procedures and service provision