Culture Communication and Relationships at Work | Case Study

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Culture Communication and Relationships at work program included input from Brightwater, Juniper was funded through the social innovation grant.

The aged care and disability service sectors in Australia face complex and growing challenges in managing a workforce with increasing numbers of newly arrived refugees and migrants. Furthering the industry’s cultural complexities, its multicultural workforce services a growing, culturally diverse client group. The Culture Communication and Relationships at Work program was developed to help these industries support these communities.

For more information on the completed CCRW package, click here.


About the Project

In 2012 Brightwater Care Group in partnership with Juniper – a Uniting Church Community, engaged Fortis Consulting to design and develop a program for fostering cultural competence and engagement across its culturally diverse workforce.

Funded by a Social Innovation Grant, the Culture Communication and Relationships at Work (CCRW)program was piloted in late 2012. It aims to strengthen the skills of care and support workers and their supervisors across these facilities, and more broadly across the Australian aged and disability care sectors.

Using an underpinning emotional intelligence approach, the CCRW program improves relationship building skills to reduce the communication barriers posed by cultural and language differences. Benefits include:

  • Building a harmonious, culturally diverse workforce where cultural diversity is viewed positively and individual contributions are valued.
  • Enhancing staff and supervisor skills to successfully manage a culturally diverse workforce.
  • Reducing staff turnover (staff retention is expected to improve as a result).
  • Optimising resident/client care and satisfaction.

Creating a culturally competent and engaged workforce

Widely applicable, any organisation with a culturally diverse workforce can deliver this program by using qualified, experienced and trained facilitators to build better working relationships and improve staff engagement. To ensure its success the CCRW program involves multiple levels of an organisation, with 12 training modules aimed at both care and support workers and supervisors. An organisational guide provides organisations considering implementing the program with some context and practical considerations in getting started.

More Information

To find out more about this program and how it could benefit your organisation please contact:

Mary Gurgone (Project Director)
Phone +61 8 9467 2490

Launch of Program Materials (Mid 2013)

A resource kit (including organisational guidelines, facilitator guides and participant workbooks) has been developed and will be launched by the Honourable Terry Redman MLA, Minister for Training and Workforce Development in early September 2013. All program materials (outlined below) will be made available from this website, with printed copies available for purchase at cost price from WestOne.

  • Organisational Guidelines – context and useful information on implementing the program
  • Facilitator Guides (for care and support workers and supervisors)
  • Participant Workbooks – (for care and support workers and supervisors)
  • CCRW Program DVD – produced by WestOne for the CCRW program, these DVD’s present a number of scenarios in video format, specifically developed for use in this program
  • Additional materials

Note: Copyright for all Culture Communication and Relationships at Work program materials belong to the Western Australian Government and documents are not to be used independently for commercial gain.