There are a lot of peoples, societies and groups living in remote area far from general habitat and modern world. Meeting and engaging with new people in cities and become more easy as it was ever before. I personally can feel the difference around people interactions and how we are connected every time. Although, it may seem to be delightful to live in this time but there are still lot of societies, communities and groups that have still not met with modern civilization and are still living on traditional methods of our ancestors (Somerville et al. 2017). One can find both interesting and intimidating to engage with these people but no one really knows the procedure that need to followed to engage with these people. I with my own experience and research in this type of public interaction can highlight a lot of facts and process to engage with these people. In this article I would mention around the Aboriginal and Torres strait islander peoples and how one can interact with them without any hassle (Price & Rogers, 2019).
I will discuss on the facts and process by which any individual could narrow the gap of communication with the Aboriginal and Torres strait islander peoples. There are lot of factors that were not in favor of the Aboriginal and Torres strait islander peoples due to which there is mistrust for government and civilized people. The main reason that I saw that arose this mistrust are the negative effects of racial and economic shortcoming and a chain of former government strategies, with separation, dislocation and separation of relations had added to the distrust alleged by the Aboriginal and Torres strait islander individuals against government services and schemes. We can all see around us on how the Aboriginal and Torres strait islander groups are marginalized and communally underprivileged factions (McNamara et al. 2020).
In my acknowledgment and research in communicating with them have displayed that the Aboriginal and Torres strait islander individuals when compared with the normal Australians difference can be seen in health cares, employment, residence and education. One should consider their personal feelings and must have high sense of their traditional values, culture and beliefs. I am mentioning this because the difference between us and them is far more than just mere civilization and it must be considered intuitively. Also, it is vital to redirect devoid of decision in advance, throughout and later engaging with individuals whose opinions, morals, view point and understandings are dissimilar to your personal ones.
In order to maintain relationships with the Aboriginal and Torres strait islander individuals I would highly suggest that it would be wise to introduce gently and smoothly yourself with the people (Bovill et al. 2019). I like to share some stories and experiences to fill the communication gap and know people about their past. You must make note of the common interest among peoples and communicate effectively with them. It is very important to note the linguistics that are used in engaging with these people. The Aboriginal and Torres strait islander people are not much familiar with the English linguistics their culture can be seen with diverse languages like, aboriginal English Torres strait creole and Kriol.
When you are communicating with them you must avoid jargons and complex English vocabularies. Also, the use of idioms must be avoided and it may distress the local community. To communicate effectively you must try to explain in short for the need of asking the question. Their reply must be clear and distinct to understand with every word (Berger et al. 2019). If language seems to be the barrier try using images, videos and signs to communicate with the locals, as it is commonly and easily understandable throughout any region of communication. I must warn you, if you are trying to communicate in native’s language like Creole and Kriol until unless you have a profound knowledge of it.
One of the best ways that I came across is taking help from the aboriginal and Torres strait islander staff people to help you close the communication gap. In our day to day life we tend to meet people late at night and even hangout for outing and pleasure. However, in case of the aboriginal and Torres strait islander people one must keep note of the time as these native peoples consider their time more valuable towards their family responsibilities and ethnic development. We may see that time is of the essence and you must utilize it for optimum engagement (Behrendt et al. 2019). My personal opinion will be to make time table for the engagement make proper note of the peoples and while communicating do not look in hurry or pace up.
You must good time with proper attendance with them, maintain proper rhythm and place your body language in way that looks more friendly maintain distance and make them feel safe especially the opposite genders to avoid any discomfort. The aboriginal and Torres strait islander culture have great significance of silence in their ethics and each individual. You must respect their communication and silence yourself while they explain them to you. Silence when paired appropriate body language show positive affection towards them (Bennett, Redfern & Zubrzycki, 2018). When you personally are engaging with them make sure to use appropriate word while addressing them. In our day to day life we sometimes use slangs and funny words, although it might not concern our personnel relationship or distress anyone with us but when it comes to these peoples proper addressed techniques must be used.
The aboriginal and Torres strait islander people address their old peoples with aunty and uncle as a sign of respect that person may or may not be related to them. First or second name must be avoided and could be used if there is some permission or relationship built around them. My personal approach to build relationship with them would not be to ask anything personal at first and never anything in public places (Williams, 2019). The people will feel embarrassed if their confidentiality is exposed. Trust must be built with the individuals while avoiding public places to discuss personal lifestyle. I have seen that in situations like these the opposite party find hard to explain itself effectively and generally full message is not conveyed.
We must aware of that they are not as fluent as we are and one must keep its patience in order to listen to them. Active listening must be deployed by us instead of selective hearing. Help them to get the sentences right and paraphrase so that they can get and agree to clear picture. Interruptions must be avoided completely at this point of time, attentive of each and every detail must be given by showing empathy (Lindstedt et al. 2017). While question with the aboriginal and Torres strait islander people you must make sure to indirectly interrogate them to achieve the information. Direct questioning is avoided with then as it creates confusion, insult and discourage among them. The question must be framed in such a manner that they positively reflect the intent and does not confuse the replier and also they are able to answer it.
Message must be conveyed to the replier in appropriate manner with the meaning of each word been clarified to the replier. Using of plain and simple words should be necessary without any complex questioning. I would highly suggest that while question please do not make it an interview of any kind instead the question must reflect the positive intent and people must feel relaxed or satisfied while answering them. My research also shares that while questioning the people of aboriginal and Torres strait island they tend to say yes to whatever they are asked for. This behavior is not any kind of disrespect to us but their feeling that other want from them to say yes (Bennett et al. 2018).
You must ask nicely to them if they directly say yes after each question whether they got the question correct without alarming anyone. You must make note of the family structure and work in surroundings. With any decision it must be noted that, if that decision requires to be discussed among the family members or community groups. If there is discussion among the community or a family and you are required to not be in it then gently and respectfully make distance with the meetings or gatherings as their might be some matters that are restrained to them only. You must first try to build relationship and must acknowledge local words before offering them something. The aboriginal and Torres strait islander staff must be able to help you out with public relations and engagement with these peoples. Also, they will assist you to spread your offering or information to the society in order to avoid any trouble or disrespect (Andersen, Edwards & Wolfe, 2017).
Andersen, C. Edwards, A. & Wolfe, B. (2017). Finding space and place: Using narrative and imagery to support successful outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in enabling programs. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 46(1), 1-11.
Behrendt, L. Cunneen, C. Libesman, T. & Watson, N. (2019). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bennett, B. Coghlan, C. Evans, K. & Morse, C. (2018). Incorporating aboriginal and Torres strait islander curriculum frameworks into practice and implications for employment. Journal of Australian Political Economy. 45(82), 171-221.
Bennett, B. Redfern, H. & Zubrzycki, J. (2018). Cultural responsiveness in action: co-constructing social work curriculum. British Journal of Social Work, 48(3), 808–825.
Berger, M. Taylor, S. Harriss, L. Campbell, S. Thompson, F. Jones, S. & McDermott, R. (2019). Hair cortisol, allostatic load, and depressive symptoms in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Stress, 22(3), 312-320.
Bovill, M. Chamberlain, C. Bar-Zeev, Y. Gruppetta, M. & Gould, G. S. (2019). Ngu-ng-gi-la-nha (to exchange) knowledge. How is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s empowerment being upheld and reported in smoking cessation interventions during pregnancy: a systematic review. Australian journal of primary health, 25(5), 395-401.
Lindstedt, S. Moeller-Saxone, K. Black, C. Herrman, H. & Szwarc, J. (2017). Realist review of programs, policies, and interventions to enhance the social, emotional, and spiritual well-being of Aboriginal and Torres strait islander young people living in out-of-home care. International Indigenous Policy Journal, 8(3), 768-778.
McNamara, B. J. Jones, J. Shepherd, C. C. Gubhaju, L. Joshy, G. McAullay, D. & Eades, S. J. (2020). Identifying young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in linked administrative data: A comparison of methods. International Journal of Population Data Science, 5(1), 44-67.
Price, K. & Rogers, J. (2019). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Somerville, R. Cullen, J. McIntyre, M. Townsend, C. & Pope, S. (2017). Engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the ‘Proper Way’. New paradigm: The Australian Journal on Psychosocial Rehabilitation, 14(1), 1-4.
Williams, M. (2019). Aboriginal people in a hospital setting: the importance of aboriginal hospital liaison officers. London: Macmillan International and Red Globe Press.
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