Cultral collaborations

…about the inaugural forum

The inaugural Cultural Collaborations Forum was held in July, 2004

As the inaugural forum in what we hope will be a long term annual event, we believe that it is of value to share with you an overview of last year’s event – as it truely sets the pace, the style and the vision for the growth of the Forum in the future.

“An exciting new forum series is being introduced to Australia in 2004.  These forums are designed to encourage Australians to engage in a debate about the cultural diversity that is characteristic of contemporary Australian society.  The title of the Forum series, Cultural Collaborations, is intended to highlight the importance of people coming together in a spirit of co-operation to explore notions of what it is to be an Australian and how we, in both an individual and collective sense, contribute to the future direction of this nation.

These forums are especially designed to cater for the professional development needs of people who operate in a range of workplace environments.  For those who are fortunate enough to work in cross-cultural settings, these forums will provide you with valuable insights into life in other places, into how individuals interact in other workplaces, thus enabling you to maintain the high quality of your own work environment.  for those who have not experienced cultural diversity within the workplace, these forums will provide you with an opportunity to engage with people from a diversity of cultural backgrounds and a diversity of workplace environments thus enhancing your own capacity to deal with diversity and hence to operate effectively in the modern Australian workplace.

The theme for the initial collaboration, Interrogating Self, has been chosen to enable participants to commence their journey of exploration through a reflection about themselves and the way in which they, as individuals, contribute to Australia’s cultural milleu.

In engaging in collaboration with colleagues in university communications and with Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in communications throughout Australia, to run this series, the School of Indigenous Australian Studies at James Cook University in North Queensland, will make an important contribution toward the Australian reconciliation process.  It is intended that this series will challenge people’s thinking about cultural diversity and, through the use of collaborative processes, demonstrate the value of difference and the importance of being able to live with difference, in both an individual and collective sense.  We acknowledge that it may take considerable time to effective positive change within the broader Australian society, but the feedback we receive tells us that there are many in that wider society who genuinely desire a more inclusive and caring Australian community.  We believe it is time for such people to come together.

Hence; the main goals of the series of Cultural Collaborations Forums are to provide an opportunity for people to come together to:
* Discuss critical issues associated with the notion of culture in a broader sense and to develop a deeper understanding of the contemporary contextualisation of culture in terms such as organisational culture, popular culture, modern culture, youth culture, Australian culture, culture of poverty, and so on; and
* Encourage participants to consider culture from the perspective of their own sense of cultural identity and how that identity might influence their worldviews and lifestyle.

It is envisaged that through such collaboration, participants will engage in a process of reflecting upon the quality of their own lives, including their own capacity to operate effectively within cross-cultural settings”.

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