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Proposal to create a PACFA Indigenous College

PACFA is progressing work on a formal proposal to create a new Indigenous College. The proposal will go to the PACFA Council in October to seek formal approval.

PACFA began a conversation on Indigenous representation at the October Council meeting and the conversation has gathered momentum since then.  Following a recent member survey, PACFA has identified 82 members who are interested in joining the proposed new College, including 9 members who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and 2 who identify as coming from other First Nations Peoples.

We asked survey respondents “what are the main things you would like from the PACFA Indigenous College?”  Some the themes that emerged from the qualitative data were:

  • The importance of the new College being led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Queries about what would be the most appropriate name for the College
  • Professional development to improve the cultural competence of counsellors and psychotherapists to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients
  • Learning from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wisdom through opportunities for professional development in Indigenous Healing practices
  • Connecting with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, health services and health professionals
  • Improving the mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Leading the development of education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander counsellors, psychotherapists and Indigenous Healers
  • Increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander counsellors and psychotherapists
  • Incorporating Indigenous Healing practices into the counselling and psychotherapy education
  • Developing a Reconciliation Action Plan
  • Disseminating research findings to help close the gap and reduce disadvantage among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

At the July Board meeting, the PACFA Board gave unanimous support for the initiative to create a new Indigenous College although what the College would be called and what its aims would be are still being explored. Importantly, PACFA wishes to be guided on these matters by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander members and leaders from the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community more broadly.

The PACFA Board is also supportive of discussions taking place to create an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander position on the PACFA Board, to create a new membership pathway for Indigenous Healers, and to work towards accreditation of training programs in Indigenous Healing.