My guest on ‘Talk the Walk’ this week is Patricia Munkara. Patricia is a traditional woman from Bathurst Island in the Northern Territory whose first language is Tiwi. In our conversation, Patricia takes us into her world – giving us some insight into what it is like for an Aboriginal worker living in their community to work alongside non-Indigenous social workers/counsellors, some of whom have been on fly-in fly-out arrangements. Bringing her passion for children’s safety and protection, Patricia has developed a reputation of being a trusted community member in her role of Aboriginal Support Worker with a mainstream non-government organisation.
This episode explores:
- how Patricia has been a role model for others in her community
- how Patricia has worked alongside the counsellor in the delivery of a culturally sensitive model of therapy
- what a typical ‘two-way’ approach to counselling looks like; and the skills, knowledge and tools used
- advantages of having an Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal mix of counselling and support in the room with children
- some of the challenges of the work
- collaboration between the counsellor and Aboriginal Support Worker
- the importance of valuing and including cultural practices, knowledge and values in the work
- how employment and maintaining a status in the community as a carer for children has contributed to Patricia’s own health and wellbeing
- a success story of reunification with a young Tiwi girl
- the importance of flexibility in a challenging work environment
- advice for new social workers in a remote community and what you can expect
As with any remote work, there were challenges with recording this episode. We apologise for the varying quality of audio. It’s something we are working on!
We hope you enjoy this episode. If you or someone you know would make a great interview on ‘Talk the Walk’ send us an email from the Contact Page.
Things to check out after today’s episode:
More about Patricia’s life and work on our blog