Service success in person-centred care

CaLD Roundtable
Aged Care: Walking Together to make a Difference
April 25, 2017
Minister Ken Wyatt
Hon. Minister Ken Wyatt Address from the PICACWA CaLD Aged Care Roundtable
May 15, 2017

Making person-centred care a reality for Australians from all cultures, languages, abilities and geographic locations is a huge challenge. Northcott and Fortis Consulting are working together to build the necessary capacity and skills to help achieve this ambitious aim.

Both organisations have developed award-winning programs, with Fortis developing capacity building, skills development online programs while making them freely available (

Northcott developed the Cultural Diversity Competency Framework and recently won the 2017 NSW Government Industry innovation Award for Excellence in Promoting Cultural Competency for the Framework. It can be accessed at

Fortis Consulting and Northcott are partnering to add the Cultural Diversity Competency Framework and it’s supporting tools to the Keys to Diversity resources. This exciting opportunity adds another dimension for users’ to give them access to disability resources to complement their learning in the Keys to Diversity Program.

This Program and the Framework will support staff and volunteers in the community organisations to easily access  training to support their delivery of services to their culturally and linguistically (CaLD) clients or those from refugee backgrounds. These online resources can fill an important gap by providing some basic knowledge and skills, which can be built upon with further training.

Northcott’s Cultural Diversity Competency Framework is adaptable and sustainable for all types of organisations and meets the needs and preferences of not only CaLD people with disability, but their families and carers, as well as other service providers. The project is a critical initiative in building the capacity of the disability sector to build and work with a diverse workforce and client population in the transition to a person-centred service system and the NDIS.

Northcott launched the Cultural Diversity Framework at the Cultural Competency in Disability Conference in July 2015. The tools include video case studies, self-reflection questionnaires and self-assessment elements. These tools enable the disability sector to move beyond ‘tick a box’ way of working with diversity, to one that is better equipped to work with diversity carers in a changing and increasingly competitive environment. A conference attendee stated:

“This site strikes a great balance between the culture general and the culture specific; own cultures and other cultures. That’s no mean feat! I will be recommending this as one very good resource for people to further their cultural competence”.

Fortis’ Keys to Diversity program has a focus on people working with migrants and refugees. The online resources can help workers better understand their own cultural diversity and how this may have an impact on their relationships with clients and their families. It also helps to better understand how they can meet their clients’ needs.

Fortis Consulting developed and delivered the Keys to Diversity project working closely with the Association of Survivors of Torture and Trauma Services, Office of Multicultural Interests, WA Council of Social Services and Reference Group representing a wide cross-section of community and Government organisations. The program trialled in eight regional and eighteen metropolitan organisations and launched in March 2016. Feedback has been very positive:

 “The Keys to Diversity online pilot program provided an opportunity to reflect on my own cultural experience. As a minority from a CaLD background, it challenged my values and beliefs and got me to reflect on how I view other cultures and stereotypes within the community. It was a really good training that enabled me to reflect on my work practices both with clients and colleagues” Uniting Care West

The two course; Unlocking Cultural Skills and Working Effectively with People from Refugee Backgrounds prepare staff and volunteers to work in a culturally aware and culturally secure way with people of any cultural background. Both courses use personal reflection, family history and migrant stories, and interactive learning. The refugee course also taps into powerful refugee testimonies to better understand the special needs of clients from refugee backgrounds.

Try the free Cultural Competency Framework and the free online courses at and at Diversity in Disability

Contact: Mary Gurgone | Email: | Phone: +61 8 9467 2490