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A number of key principles and ideas underpin the delivery of the Cultural Connections Initiative.

What is culture? Why is it important?

Ethan Williams, Coordinator Cultural Connections Initiative:

Culture for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People is in essence who we are and our being. It is grounded in kinships, family and relationships with land, water and seascapes and reinforced by ancestral story of the past, walking into the future. It is guided by our law, knowledge and customs which must be maintained and nurtured to keep culture strong.

What/who is a cultural practitioner?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture plays a significant role in promoting the story of the nation on a global stage. Yet only a small number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are employed in the cultural sector.

The Cultural Connections Initiative has been designed to develop Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural leaders of the future by supporting them to lead a diverse range of projects in the creative industries and cultural heritage sector.

The focus on strengthening culture in their communities is what unites projects and practitioners across the initiative.

What is co-design/two-way learning?

‘Co-design’ describes a way of working. All stakeholders are encouraged to participate and are respected as equal partners and knowledge-holders, creating a two-way flow of learning between the Museum, partner organisations and cultural practitioners.

All Cultural Connections partnerships and projects have been developed collaboratively between the Museum and partner organisations to best suit the needs and cultural heritage aspirations of the community.

What does 'trauma-informed approach/response' mean?

The Cultural Connections Initiative is mindful of the negative impacts of colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, and embraces the principle of trauma-informed approaches and responses in its work.

Cultural Connections has identified organisations and professionals that can support healing in each of the locations that it works, and supports projects that reconnect people to cultural values and practices as a pathway to healing.

Banner photo: Steve Back Photography

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