Aboriginal World Views

A way of understanding the world.

They are diverse and largely inform the way Aboriginal people experience the world and have relationship with land, water, culture, family, and community. Aboriginal World Views are distinctly different from a Western way of understanding the world.

“Aboriginal worldviews lay the foundation for cultural safety, trauma informed and trauma specific care and practices for Aboriginal people”

(Mareese Terare, Bundjalung woman, 2014)

Dadirri – Deep Listening To One Another


A word from the language of the Ngan’gikurungkurr people of the Daly River area of the Northern Territory. Dadirri has been called “the Aboriginal gift”.  Miriam Rose Ungunmerr (1993a) says it is a “special quality, a unique gift of the Aboriginal people. It is inner deep listening and quiet, still awareness – something like what you call contemplation”

While Dadirri is a word that belongs to the language of the Ngan’gikurunggur peoples, the activity or practice of Dadirri has its equivalence in many other Aboriginal groups in Australia.

The principles and functions of Dadirri are:

  • a knowledge and consideration of community and the diversity and unique nature that each individual brings to community
  • ways of relating and acting within community
  • a non-intrusive observation, or quietly aware watching
  • a deep listening and hearing with more than the ears.

We extend the concept of Dadirri to the way we relate to key stakeholders, to our work codes and code of conduct, and to our model of care for Aboriginal families, children and young people.

In our local language, the word “listen” translates to “Ngara”. We relate “Ngara”, a word used in the name of organisation, to the concept of Dadirri.

Cultural Learning – The Importance of Identity And Connections

We acknowledge that Aboriginal culture has not remained static over time and has adapted according to the influence of many different factors including colonisation. Kinship responsibility, knowledge of family, country and community is still at the core of our cultural identity and is still very much a part of contemporary Aboriginal societies.

We understand the importance of cultural knowledge and how it relates to the individual in terms of their identity.  To enhance and nurture cultural identity there must be an emphasis placed on ongoing cultural learning.

Shared Community Responsibility For Children And Young People

Community is where I can share my innermost thoughts, bring out the depths of my own feelings, and know they will be understood. Communication makes community and is the possibility of human beings living together for their mutual psychological, physical and spiritual nourishment.

(Rollo May, 1976:246-7)

We believe that Aboriginal children and young people who enter the out of home care system should be recognised as our most disadvantaged and vulnerable of our people and as such the Aboriginal Community has a responsibility for their safety and wellbeing.

Working With Children In A Culturally Safe Environment

Principles and practices of cultural safety are essential skills required to work with all people, in particular children, who have been damaged by painful childhood experiences.

“Cultural Safety is more or less – an environment, which is safe for people; where there is no assault, challenge or denial of their identity, of who they are and what they need.  It is about shared respect, shared meaning, shared knowledge and experience of learning together.”

(Williams, R. Cultural Safety – what does it mean for our work practice? (1999, p.213)

Strengths Based Practice and Resilience

Strengths based practice is a way of working with people that focuses on their strengths resources and aspirations.

Resilience is the capacity to adapt and rebound from stressful life events, strengthened and more resourceful (Daniel et al, 2012).

We maintain a strengths based practice and resilience framework in all that we do. However, we acknowledge the paramount need for effective risk management and will not minimise risk to vulnerable people in the pursuit of a strengths perspective.

Trauma Informed and Trauma Specific Care And Practice

Bessel van der Kolk, in his most recent research on developmental impact of childhood trauma, writes:

“Childhood trauma, including abuse and neglect is probably the single most important public health challenge (we face)…a challenge that has the potential to be largely resolved by appropriate prevention and intervention” (van der Kolk, B. 2007 p.224).

Childhood trauma has both long term negative health outcomes, as well as generational transference of attitudes and behaviour. Hence, historical trauma transference across family and communal systems can result.

The work of Judith Herman recognises that, where trauma has occurred, there is usually a disconnection and disempowerment that may increase vulnerability and exposure to further adverse childhood experiences. We believe that part of the recovery process must involve reconnection and re-empowerment from an Aboriginal World View.

A clear understanding of developmental trauma in complex trauma environments is essential knowledge required to work with our Aboriginal families, children and young people who have been hurt by painful childhood experiences.  Our work requires knowledge of the effects of childhood trauma. By considering trauma informed language and practices within our work, we have the opportunity to start the healing process for Aboriginal children and young people in out of home care.

Our Partners

Gudjagang Ngara li-dhi Aboriginal Corporation acknowledge the lands of the Darkinjung that we are privileged to work and live upon.

We acknowledge the wisdom of our elders and include their voice in all that we do in our community.

We also acknowledge the importance of nurturing our children and their important contribution to our combined story.

Gudjagang Ngara li-dhi Aboriginal Corporation

02 4305 8807


4 Church Street
Wyong NSW 2259