Aboriginal identity

Although we have not identified any tools that measure Aboriginal cultural identity, we know how important the link between connection to community, culture and Country is for an Aboriginal child or young person’s psychological wellbeing.

The QAF seeks to develop a survey that can support a caseworker to understand an Aboriginal child or young person’s cultural and spiritual identity, and ensure through casework that each child has an understanding of:

  • who they are (personal identity) – knowing they are Aboriginal and their family/kin
  • who they belong to (Community) – knowing family connection
  • where they come from (family history, Aboriginal history) – knowing their family history and the history of Aboriginal people
  • where they belong (Country, communities of belonging) – knowing their country/nation, communities of belonging (on and off country)
  • what they do (cultural expression and events) – participating in cultural events and activities
  • what they believe (cultural values, beliefs and practices) – values like family/kin/community relationships and responsibilities, Elders (family and community), sharing, on country stories
  • what symbolises Aboriginal culture (the Aboriginal flag, art, music, stories, totems)

Consulting Aboriginal communities

The first step in designing the QAF’s cultural and spiritual domain was asking Aboriginal people what culture and spiritual identity means to them.

We held a forum reflecting the diversity of NSW Aboriginal communities, FACS districts (metro, regional and remote), ages, genders, and experiences, and asked participants were what cultural and spiritual identity meant for them.

We heard that children need:

  • regular connections to culture
  • a knowledge of culture
  • connection to kin.

These messages will inform the development of a cultural and spiritual knowledge survey for inclusion in the QAF trial.

More information