Tiwi Cultural Awareness Training

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This Tiwi Cultural Awareness Training has been initiated by elders from the Tiwi Islands and has been a successful small business model initiated by Teddy Portaminni. Teddy and several Tiwi educators take the lead facilitation role throughout the training. These Tiwi educators are well-respected elders and leaders in the local community and experienced in facilitating small groups while engaging the resources and qualities of an ‘on country’ experience.

The major feature of these cultural workshops is that it is ‘on country’ – doing things Tiwi way. The training is designed so participants can share in this experience first-hand with Tiwi families, including children. Often the learning will be facilitated within groups of men and women separately. This is in keeping with cultural protocol where men’s business and women’s business is processed within a particular context.

The Workshops

The purpose of the Tiwi Cultural Awareness Training is to provide high quality cultural workshops to increase understanding about cultural identity and connects with the nourishment and resources of the land. They are induction training relevant to non-Tiwi workers as an introduction to Tiwi culture and Indigenous culture more broadly. The workshop will suit public servants, teachers, health workers, consultants, contractors, managers, social workers, community developers and anyone wanting to learn more about Indigenous culture.

Topics covered by the training include:

  • Understanding Tiwi culture
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • The impact of attitudes & beliefs
  • Understanding protocols on styles of work
  • Key issues involved when collaborating with Aboriginal people

The training begins with a traditional welcome to country, which assists participants get in touch with the sacred nature of the land and the ancestors. This training is experiential in nature, so participants take part in activities including fishing, hunting, mangrove walks and finding fresh water creeks. Night-time around the fire is a particularly special time for story-telling, songs and cultural explanations. Tiwi educators are available to answer questions and the fireplace is a central point for gathering times and reflection on the day’s experiences.

Very early in the process visitors are encouraged to unwind, observe and participate in the Tiwi experience. This adds to the capacity of a new group to feel comfortable and safe in a kinship group settled amongst the tall trees and unencumbered landscape on Bathurst Island.

Two or three day programs are available and are customised for your purposes:

Induction training for non-Tiwi workers, from

$ 599/person
  • Three day (two nights) introduction to Tiwi culture
  • Specially designed for professionals working with Tiwi people
  • Ideal for public servants, teachers, health workers, consultants, contractors, managers, social workers, and community developers

Come Experience Tiwi Way, from

$ 399/person
  • Two day (one night) immersive experience for anyone interested in Tiwi culture
  • Widen your understanding and appreciation of Indigenous culture
  • Ideal for visitors, tourists, students, and volunteers