As community builders, understanding culture is our business. No matter where Thirrili places itself or whom we relate to, practically, we are working with and establishing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who all have different cultures.
In this context “Culture” refers to the culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups or communities to whom we relate and interact, who share common experiences that shape the way the members of the communities understand their world. Culture can include groups that we are born into, such as race, national origin, gender, class, or religion. It can also include a group we join or become part of.
When Thirrili thinks of culture broadly, we realise we all belong to many cultures at once.
Why is Culture Important
Culture is a strong part of peoples’ lives.
It influences peoples’ views, values, humour, their hopes, loyalties, worries and fears. So, when Thirrili is working with people and building relationships, we seek to understand and respect the cultures of the people we are supporting and/or working with.
When we explore culture, it’s always important for us to remember how much we have in common. Whilst people see the world very differently, we are all human. We all love deeply, have hopes and dreams, and have experienced loss, pain and fear.
As Thirrili works with individuals, families and communities we seek to gather practical information that supports us understand the local culture, establish relationships that are respectful of the local culture, so that the support we provide is culturally responsive.
We will work with communities to: address racism and other forms of discrimination; create structures and processes in which diverse groups can work together; overcome internalised oppression; and build strong and diverse communities.