About Making Two Worlds Work

Aboriginal People:
a north east Victorian perspective

This section provides information on the Aboriginal peoples of north east Victoria.

Communicating Effectively
This section provides information that will assist in informed and respectful communication with Aboriginal peoples.

Historical Information &
Key Dates

This section provides information about important Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander historical and current events.

Aboriginal Health Promotion
This section provides information about Aboriginal health promotion.

Protocols & Procdures
This section provides information about protocols and procedures related to Aboriginal services, organisations and communities.

Producing Appropriate Information
This section provides information about how to ensure materials used are respectful and appropriately acknowledged.

Producing Appropriate Information

Producing materials for Aboriginal communities

As part of the Making Two Worlds Work Project we have produced a CD with a range of graphic images (with no copyright). Please use these when designing written or visual information for Aboriginal clients or communities, or seek out local art work from your specific area. We have also produced a DVD which explains the importance of art in Aboriginal communities featuring Karin McMillan. We encourage you to view the short DVD.

I am developing some materials for an Aboriginal community

How do I make sure that what I produce is culturally appropriate?
Ideally, you have already consulted with and are working in partnership with your local Aboriginal community and or agency in developing materials. If you haven’t already, it is important that you consult and regularly communicate with the Aboriginal community or your local Aboriginal agency to ensure that what you are producing does not offend in terms of language, use of the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander flags, use of artwork or other artistic materials or images, or Aboriginal protocols relating to men’s and women's business, and deceased persons. This is the best way to ensure that what you produce will be culturally appropriate, relevant and respectful to the Aboriginal community.

Other considerations in producing culturally appropriate material are that any material would acknowledge, where appropriate:

Ownership, copyright, cultural and intellectual property

How do I obtain permission to use Aboriginal written, verbal or artistic materials?
In the past, non-Aboriginal people have appropriated Aboriginal stories, language, songs, dance and knowledge. Aboriginal people have not been recognised as the owners of this knowledge. In some cases non-Aboriginal authors, who have benefited from the knowledge given to them, have claimed copyright and profited from the information.

As a result copyright and the protection of intellectual property are vital issues for Aboriginal people. They are the custodians of their culture and have the right to own and control their cultural heritage.

Any access to and use of Aboriginal cultural information must have permission from relevant individuals or organisations. Rights to use Aboriginal material may be held by an individual, but most cultural material belongs to the traditional owners of that knowledge.

It is advisable to reach formal agreement with the owner/s of the knowledge before commencing a project that uses Aboriginal material. xxiii

Naming the deceased

Should I use material that names or shows images of deceased Aboriginal people?
Different Aboriginal communities have different protocols regarding naming deceased Aboriginal persons. The best way for agencies to use the appropriate protocol for their area regarding naming the deceased or showing photographic images is to consult the local Aboriginal Organisation in the area. xxiv

xxii Victorian Government Department of Human Services, op.cit. p.55.
xxiii NSW Department of Local Government, op.cit. p.19.
xxiv Ibid. p.20

Reference List