National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism,Immigration and Human Rights

Ms Cara Brough
Education and Training Coordinator, Centre for Culture Ethnicity and Health, Victoria

Dilemmas and Complexities in Providing Relevant and Effective Diversity Training in Health and Welfare Settings

This paper explores the dilemmas involved in providing diversity training programs to health and welfare professionals. The paper focuses on an advanced training program recently developed by the Centre for Culture Ethnicity and Health (CEH). This training program foregrounds the relationship, between practitioner and consumer, in its political, organisational and interpersonal contexts. In foregrounding the consumer/practitioner relationship, the program seeks to challenge common practices in health and welfare service provision where practitioners distance themselves from developing a collaborative and complex working relationship with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) consumers and communities. This paper analyses the phenomenon of "distancing" in its contemporary political and social contexts and discusses the successes and failures of the program in grappling with this phenomenon. In unravelling the notion of "distancing", the paper explores the ways in which popular notions of "working cross culturally" in health and welfare contexts homogenise and objectify CLD consumers and communities.

Cara Brough has worked in the health and welfare sector for the past 10 years in professional and organisational development, direct service delivery, community development and advocacy capacities. Cara has worked primarily with refugees and newly arrived immigrant communities, peak bodies and advocacy organisations. Cara is currently the education and training coordinator for the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health in Melbourne.

Presentation Type
30 min paper

University of Technology, Sydney, 1-2 December 2000

Papers & Workshops