What does cultural capacity training or being ‘culturally capable’ mean?
How do you know if you need cultural competency training or cultural awareness training?

Let’s go to the core question: What does it mean to be culturally capable? There are steps to achieving cultural safety within your organisation. With each team member having varying understandings or experiences. To understand cultural safety, we much distinguish it from cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity. This is not a political correctness, it is correcting the lack of education we as Australians have had access to about Australian Aboriginal people and culture. And how our actions today can help close the gap evident as a result of the past.

Aboriginal culture is diverse and dynamic. Cultural capacity training fosters workplace and community cultures to respect and value the skills, experiences, and perspectives of Aboriginal employees and citizens. Tapping into this rich cultural experience and understanding through a lens of cultural competence rewards all those who participate . You can join our scheduled training sessions open to the public – or have a session designed especially for your team.

1. Cultural Capacity Training: Historical overview [3 hours]

Interwoven with personal narratives this 3 hour workshop covers a wide range of topics to help the participant have a greater understanding and empathy of where we are at today
Included in your package: 1 presenter; survey monkey evaluation created, with data collated and presented in a report with recommendations; work booklet; and reference lists for further reading.

Optional extras are available as cost: Custom handouts, bush tucker, location hire, Smoking Ceremony, Welcome to Country, *on going advisory position, trouble shooting.


2. Cultural Capacity Training: Historical and Cultural immersion [6 hours]

The historical and application gives participants a chance to develop a greater understanding of a wide range of products while providing them to experience a cultural activity.

Included in your package: 2+ presenters; bush tucker catered morning tea and lunch; 2hr cultural activity (includes all materials – possible activities include: an Elders talk, a weaving workshop, a possum skin cloak workshop or a site visit with a local Elder; survey monkey evaluation created, with data collated and presented in a report with recommendations; work booklet; and eference lists for further reading.

Optional extras are available as cost: Custom handouts, location hire, Smoking Ceremony, Welcome to Country, *on going advisory position, trouble shooting.


3. Two-Day Cultural Capacity Training: Service improvement

A concise 2 hour session designed to provide an understanding of the Aboriginal Education Policy and how this relates to the local Aboriginal needs at your local school or centre. We then look at the barriers effecting all educators implementing such content and how we can work through these barriers to teach all students about Aboriginal Australia in a culturally appropriate way. Practical examples of how other educators have done this are shown with an emphasis on how they were developed. The session will encourage most educators to have a go at implementing Aboriginal perspectives.

Note: While whole of staff together works well in a primary school setting, it is best to have no more than two faculty groups per session in a high school. To allows for more subject specific dialogue.



  • I have engaged the services of Cherie Johnson, from Speaking in Colour, on a number of occasions to deliver Aboriginal Cultural Capacity Training to Council staff and external organisation’s staff who work among the Aboriginal community...She engages participants by first asking what they want to learn and openly invites questions throughout the presentation. Her passion and cultural knowledge is displayed by her enthusiasm…I would highly recommend Cherie Johnson from Speaking in Colour as a quality educator of Aboriginal culture and heritage to any organisation.

    Maree Edwards Aboriginal Community Development Officer, Lake Macquarie City Council
  • “Just letting you know the weaving workshop was a hit and the kids loved it. She did a wonderful job and gave some great information. Thanks for organising.”

    Kimberley Carlyle Teacher, Caves Beach Public School
  • "It was great having Cherie from Speaking in Colour at our TPL today.  The discussion around the content of the Interwoven Aboriginal Kit promoted deeper knowledge and understanding of how to embed Aboriginal perspectives into a range of KLA's.  We are looking forward to our follow up weaving workshop on NAIDOC Week as this will further consolidate our learning and understanding…We would highly recommend it other schools."

    Cath Dalais Maryland PS 2017
  • “The weaving kit from Speaking In Colour is a wonderfully designed and well thought out resource providing ample supporting material in both a practical sense as well as a theoretical sense to enable teachers to implement an Aboriginal perspective into their teaching. The lesson plans are well structured and sequenced to provide a solid and user friendly basis to incorporate Aboriginal perspectives into a number of different key learning areas, whilst remaining flexible enough to allow the educator to use individual components of the kit to support the needs of their class and their current program. Overall, the weaving kit from Speaking In Colour is a great resource to use as a launch pad into implementing Aboriginal perspectives in a culturally sensitive manner.”

    Miriam Avery Reading Recovery Teacher/Aboriginal Education Teacher, Tea Gardens Public School
  • “A fabulous resource that ensures Aboriginal perspectives are woven across the Key Learning Areas in a variety of different ways. “

    Louise Groves Assistant Principal, Coal Pt Public school
  • “This education kit will provide the core of our girls cultural program that we are developing at Singleton High School. It is refreshing to be able to use of work of Cherie whom I have known since she was a young school girl. Giving back to community has always been at the centre of Cherie's life. This kit helps our girls to reclaim culture that rightfully belongs to them. Thank you Cherie.”

    Deirdre Heitmeyer Head Teacher Aboriginal Education, Singleton High School
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