We are Working as One: Working Together Today for Our Children of Tomorrow

We are Working as One is an important guide for workers in non-Aboriginal managed organisations. The guide details how to effectively support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers within non-Aboriginal managed organisations. The introductory guide brings together theory and practice through reflective practice.

The guide has been developed in consultation with the Aboriginal Capacity Building Advisory Group, and was written by Shirley Blacklaws.

WSCF express sadness and sincere thanks to Shirley Blacklaws who passed away after the production of this guide.

Reflective Approach

As a guide intended for positive change, We are Working as One utilises a reflective approach and encourages organisations to build connections, partnerships and solutions between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal workers, organisations and communities. Five key aspects assist to define this approach, and include innovation, pursing partnerships, building connections, effective communication and being informed.

“We don’t expect you to always get it right. When things don’t work out explore ways of doing it differently next time.” (p. 3)


Included within the We are Working as One Guide are assessment tools for the organisation and non-Aboriginal workers. The ‘Questions Around the Self and Organisation’ is an assessment tool containing basic questions including workers experiences working with Aboriginal people, considerations in electing an Aboriginal board member to a non-Aboriginal organisation, and the appropriate use of partnership.

“The intent is not to tell you how to do this or whether to do that, this Guide offers examples to inspire new ideas, creative thinking and is a tool to refocus your thinking and is a tool to refocus your thinking on your existing knowledge and can help generate new knowledge and ideas for continuous improvement.” (p. 6)

Working with your Aboriginal community

The section on Working with Your Aboriginal Community provides reflection for workers and organisations about current work practices. The guide encourages workers and organisations to pay attention to the practical values and theories that inform everyday actions. Working with Your Aboriginal Community is about a two-way process of learning, talking and doing. The guide provides information on historical context and important cultural dates. Detailed information about partnerships have been provided to foster the sharing of experiences between organisation and community.

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