Sociology Essay On Social Work Practice With Indigenous People
Sociology Essay Task: Each student is individually required to submit a 1500 word personal practice reflection relating to their experience of the specific PitchaShare activity they engaged in and responding to the following questions:
What knowledge and personal insights have you gained with respect to Indigenous cultures through the specific Pitchashare activity you engaged with?
How do these insights inform your understanding of contemporary Aboriginal experience?
How might these insights inform your future practice as a culturally safe* and responsive social worker?
In what ways do you envisage being personally challenged as you move towards becoming culturally responsive in your social work practice?
The linkage between all parts of your response needs to be clear and coherent. Your assignment may (but doesn’t have to) use headings and should contain a list of references that you have consulted (concerning the understanding of your Pitchashare site) to support your personal reflections.
This is not a general essay about social work and social workers but rather a reflective piece of writing about your own personal practice journey, inspired by your experience of the Pitchashare site and project.
Introduction to sociology essay
Through its “Indigenous Arts in Prisons and Communities initiative”, The Torch has already been supporting art, cultural, and arts sector assistance to Indigenous criminals and ex-offenders in Victoria since 2011(Horneman-Wren, 2021). By seeing program participants as artists rather than as criminals, The Torch creates an opportunity for transformation.
Through cultural resiliency and creative expression, the curriculum leads to the growth of self-esteem, courage, and resilience. Additionally, Indigenous art is narrative-driven. It is used as a chronicle to effectively convey knowledge about the land, emotions, and beliefs of Aboriginal people. As a result, my subsequent Pitchashare activity illustrates “the background of the Torch and also the overrepresentation of indigenous people in the prison system” with pertinent facts and insights. The report also reflects on the personal gained by me by undertaking this particular Pitchashare activity as well as I would want to discuss how these findings may influence my future practice as a culturally competent and responsive social worker.
Personal reflection on the Pitchashare activity
“Context of the Torch and overrepresentation of indigenous in the Prison system”
As I have noted in my observation, Indigenous Australians account for about 2% of the adult population in Australia yet contribute for 28% of the adult jail population. Additionally, Indigenous men are 15 times more probable men to serve time in jail, whereas Indigenous women remain 21 times more probable women to serve time in prison (Pfeifer & Trounson, 2019). The Torch Project is a multicultural arts group that collaborates with groups and people from all walks of life across Victoria. I understood that the Torch Project's goal is to have a responsive, innovative, and culturally context - dependent applied educational service to Victorian communities on the margins. Their programs answers are intended to be relational, communicative, and collaborative in nature. The Torch values a communal and shared reaction to rectifying disadvantage. It was developed and trialled as a means of developing and sustaining good interactions between “Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal” communities in Victoria. Since 2011, The Torch has already been implementing the “StatewideIndigenous Arts in Prison and Community” (SIAPC) initiative (McCrossin, 2017). The “SIAPC program” works within the framework of the “Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement,” with a special emphasis on the importance of culture and cultural identification in the rehabilitation of Indigenous inmates.
As I have noted, Indigenous Australians account for about 2% of the adult population in Australia yet contribute for 28% of the adult jail population. Additionally, Indigenous men are 15 times more probable men to serve time in jail, whereas Indigenous women remain 21 times more probable women to serve time in prison (Horneman-Wren, 2021). The Torch Project is a multicultural arts group that collaborates with groups and people from all walks of life across Victoria. The Torch Project's goal is to have a responsive, innovative, and culturally context - dependent applied educational service to Victorian communities on the margins. Their programs answers are intended to be relational, communicative, and collaborative in nature (Tacon, 2019).
Additionally, from my experience and observation, I've seen that The Torch emphasises a community and shared response to redressing inequality. It was created and piloted in Victoria as a method of fostering and maintaining positive relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. Since 2011, The Torch has already been implementing the Statewide“Indigenous Arts in Prison and Community” (SIAPC) initiative. The SIAPC program works within the framework of the “Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement,” with a special emphasis on the importance of culture and cultural identification in the rehabilitation of Indigenous inmates (Tacon, 2019).Indigenous Arts Officers are employed by The Torch to administer the project to Indigenous women and men incarcerated in Victorian prisons and to assist participants in reintegrating into the community. The Torch sponsored an assessment of the “Statewide Indigenous Arts Officer program” in Prisons and Communities in 2012 and 2018. Additionally, a summary of the 2018 Evaluation is provided. Interviews with Indigenous detainees and former detainees who participated in the programme revealed four significant difficulties faced by participants: “systemic trust and anger problems”, “estrangement from family and community”, “experiences of cultural alienation”, and“economic insecurity after release from jail”.
Prominent Themes of Gallery
Additionally, my study of Indigenous art revealed that Indigenous art is focused on narrative. It is employed as a chronicle to transmit information well about Aboriginal people's land, experiences, and beliefs. Indigenous culture is built on five linked pillars: “land, family, law, ritual, and language” (Horneman-Wren, 2021). Because of the kinship system, households have a special connection to the land that includes obligations and responsibilities that are defined in law and observed via ceremonial observance. In spite of the fact that the Australian Aboriginal people had been using ochres for thousands of years as body paint, onto bark, and even on rocks, the first completed artworks were not created until the 1930s. These have been created in water colour just at “Hermannsburg mission in Alice Springs”, not in ochre or dot art. They depicted arid vistas. Albert Namatjira, the much more renowned of the early aboriginal watercolour artists, hosted the inaugural show in 1937 (Bourke et al., 2018). Adelaide served as the venue for his show. Creation Law is at the heart of both Aboriginal culture and Aboriginal art. With it, Aboriginal people's identity and relationship to the land are codified. The Dreaming becomes more than just a tale.Australian Aboriginal people do not have their very own written language, and thus the important facts central to their culture are based on the conventional icons (symbols) and relevant information inside the artwork, that also work in conjunction with recalled stories, dance, and song, assisting in the transmitting of vital information and the preservation of their culture (Tacon, 2019).Thus, from my experience I can say that Australia has always had a multicultural population. Prior to the advent of Europeans, there were numerous linguistic groups and cultural traditions.
“The role of art and Creative expressions in indigenous people”
From my social work on indigenous Australians, I have noted that Australian Aboriginal symbols are depictions of cultural cognition expressed via a sense of location and spiritual space. Including over 350 distinct Aboriginal Nations in Australia, all Aboriginal Nation's creative manifestations of knowledge are distinctive, since designs, symbols, methods, and media are limited by customary rules linked with Creational eras (Ginsburg, 2018). As a result, the Nation's symboliclines marks, and patterns remain its intellectual property. Aboriginal paintings, through depicting mythology and old ceremonies, also fulfil the goal of recording their people's traditions and conserving them for coming generations. For example, “William Barak's Corroboree”, released in 1895, imparts his vast understanding of Aboriginal culture. It portrays the corroboree, a dancing ritual, by depicting six men carrying boomerangs and clapsticks—their bodies painted in clan designs—as others clap in front of them. With its sparse and basic lines, The White Guy depicts a man wearing a top hat approaching a gathering of Aboriginal tribespeople who are perplexed by this unusual sight. The picture alludes to the tale of William Buckley, a prisoner who fled in 1803 and spent almost three decades living among the Victorian Aboriginal people (Lowish, 2018).
With increased contact amongst Aboriginal and Western cultures over the last several decades, Aboriginal artists have embraced more modern modes of expression, including such acrylic paint on canvas, landscape painting methods, and photography. However, their creations retain a strong spiritual relationship with the land, environment, and community at their heart. Therefore, I personally feel that their art in spite of being so much vibrant does not gets enough attention and are restricted to being popular due to discrimination based on the community in which they belong. As a social worker, I feel that their arts should gain more popularity and artists should be paid the honour and recognition for such beautiful creations that in turn would create an inspiration in their society.
‘Therapeutic healing Purposes of Art’
Additionally, I have noted that, in addition to increasing individual and community health outcomes, art may assist repair relationships between Aboriginal as well as non-Aboriginal Australians, thus alleviating the marginalisation that Aboriginal people often face when accessing health services (Collins et al., 2017). Indigenous Healing Cards are indeed a culturally sensitive tool designed to assist people in self-healing via their own awareness and understanding. Each card is beautifully painted and shows a variety of life tales that serve as triggers for clients to share their own stories via awareness of previous and current events. By incorporating creative methods into counselling sessions, we may create a culturally safe and sensitive atmosphere conducive to communication process while also recognising Indigenous traditional practises (Lowish, 2018). Furthermore, the arts are seen as an important instrument for safeguarding sensitive cultural and communal problems, such as differences in tribal community beliefs and traditions, developing inner understandings, relieving guilt and worries about judgmental views. In non-verbal therapy methods for mental and physical trauma, including the arts into therapy is a useful tool. Over the last two decades, art therapy literature has increased in popularity. Healing, education, and communication via the arts are one of the earliest activities and were extensively practised in Indigenous communities across Australia. Sand art, a cherished instrument for spontaneous communication in both desert and coastal cultures, is an instance of such activities.
Indigenous Healing Cards are indeed a culturally sensitive tool created to aid people in self-healing via their own awareness and understanding. Each card is beautifully painted and depicts a range of life tales that serve as triggers for clients to share their own stories via recognition of previous and current events (Bourkeet al., 2018). These pieces of art may be displayed as display posters or copied in smaller sizes for more flexibility. Each piece of artwork portrays a personal history centred on a variety of sensitive topics often encountered by Indigenous people, thus alleviating guilt and promoting sharing of personal experiences. Often, once a societal problem is revealed via art, it becomes acceptable to discuss. The cards are deployed in a non-direct manner, with clients participating in their very own time rather than within the Health Care Professional's allotted period.
To sum up, by conducting this pitchashare activity I have gained sufficient knowledge regarding Indigenous Australian culture and how I can further use the knowledge to be a more responsible social worker in the future. In the journey of understanding the culture and art works of indigenous Australians, I faced a lot of challenges that includes language barriers which created hurdles in communicating with them. However, sign language was the only way that helped me communicate as they had difficulty in understanding English. Therefore, in my future projects as a social worker I aim to enhance my communication skills.
Bourke, S., Wright, A., Guthrie, J., Russell, L., Dunbar, T., & Lovett, R. (2018). Evidence Review of Indigenous Culture for Health and Wellbeing. International Journal of Health, Wellness & Society, 8(4).
Collins, J., Morrison, M., Basu, P.K. and Krivokapic-Skoko, B., 2017. Indigenous culture and entrepreneurship in small businesses in Australia. Small Enterprise Research, 24(1), pp.36-48.
Ginsburg, F. (2018). The indigenous uncanny: accounting for ghosts in recent indigenous Australian experimental Media. Visual Anthropology Review, 34(1), 67-76.
Horneman-Wren, B. (2021). Prison art programs: Art, culture and human rights for Indigenous prisoners. Alternative Law Journal, 1037969X211008977.
Irwin, R. L., Rogers, T., & Farrell, R. (2017). Multiculturalism denies the realities of Aboriginal art and culture (pp. 22-35). Sociology essay Routledge.
Lowish, S. (2018). Rethinking Australia's Art History: The Challenge of Aboriginal Art. Routledge.
McCrossin, J. (2017). Carrying the family torch. LSJ: Law Society of NSW Journal, (38), 36-39.
Pfeifer, J. E., & Trounson, J. S. (2019). Corrections and Indigenous people: Looking back and moving forward.
Tacon, P. S. (2019). Connecting to the Ancestors: why rock art is important for Indigenous Australians and their well-being. Rock Art Research: The Journal of the Australian Rock Art Research Association (AURA), 36(1), 5-14.