Webinar series on recognition of Indigenous healing practices

The Australian College of Counselling and Psychotherapy Educators (ACCAPE) is hosting a series of six webinars on Recognition of Indigenous Healing Practices in Australia and Aotearoa.

ACCAPE was established in July 2015 to promote the development and recognition of counselling and psychotherapy education, advocating for the professional interests and work conditions of educators and academics, particularly to maintain the relational and experiential focus of counselling and psychotherapy trainings in an era of standardization. Our mission, broadly, is to build dialogue between counselling and psychotherapy educators in diverse educational settings and contract arrangements while respecting the diversity of instructional approaches and strategies and to be a critical voice in relation to quality, design and content of counselling and psychotherapy education programs.

The urgency of the need for culturally appropriate training and for the recognition and accreditation of Indigenous critical pedagogy and healing practices have been widely established in government reports and within mainstream tertiary institutions.

The Universities Australia Indigenous Strategy 2017-2020 and Guiding Principles for Developing Indigenous Cultural Competency in Australian Universities 2011 outline commitment to ‘Indigenisation of the curriculum’ with recommendations to “incorporate Indigenous Australian knowledges and perspectives into programs according to a culturally competent pedagogical framework”. These papers point to the “a high degree of commonality” in approaches recommended in major inquiries and reviews, indicating that “the way forward is known, and can be implemented effectively through commitment by universities and other organisations and agencies connected to higher education.” An Indigenous critical pedagogy and healing practice already exists – as Judy Atkinson and Graham Gee, among others, have made clear and illustrated at the PACFA 2019 conference, Working with Trauma.

There is clearly a demand for training in Indigenous practices and critical pedagogy within the fields of counselling, psychotherapy, social work, psychology, medicine and law. Becoming a racially competent practitioner or educator requires training and self-reflection about bias, blind-spots, discrimination and learnt privilege. It requires knowledge of contemporary culturally informed practices.

To this end, ACCAPE has organised a series of six webinars (running from July 24 through to October 30 this year) aimed to prepare PACFA members to assist students of psychotherapy and counselling to reduce the perpetuation of continued social discrimination and racial bias and develop multicultural competence while considering the steps we need to take to ensure programs in Indigenous critical pedagogies and healing practices are accessible and accredited.

ACCAPE is committed to assisting in the formation of an Indigenous College within PACFA to represent Indigenous members and those non-Indigenous members working with Indigenous peoples and committed to the recognition of Indigenous critical pedagogies and healing practices. The webinar series sets out to discuss Indigenous healing approaches and how they may be represented within PACFA. We consider that having Indigenous representation on the PACFA Board is also a necessary requirement for to have an Indigenous College under the direction of a Board composed entirely of non-Indigenous people contravenes the ethical principle of culturally appropriate practice and decision-making. We look forward to engaging educators and others in this discussion.




Topic and presenters


24 July 2019

7.30 to 9pm EST

Introducing Indigenous representation into PACFA – A conversation

– Gina O’Neill, Dr Zoë Krupka and Dr Kate Briggs


7 August 2019

7.30 to 9pm EST

Understanding the AQF, Indigenous critical pedagogy and healing practices

– Dr Judith Ayre and Dr Ione Lewis



28 August 2019

7.30 to 9pm EST

We-Ali – presenting Culturally informed Trauma Integrated Indigenous Healing Approaches

– Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson


25 September 2019

5.30 to 7pm EST

Indigenous Psychotherapy in Aotearoa through Waka Oranga

– Anna Fleming, Alayane Hall and Margaret Morice  from Waka Oranga


16 October 2019

7.30 to 9pm EST

Truth telling in Indigenous community

– Gavin Morris


30 October 2019

7.30 to 9pm EST

Developing multicultural competencies: Experiences from Canadian, Mexican and Australian Indigenous communities

– Roman Ilgauskas

To participate in PACFA’s webinar series on Recognition of Indigenous Healing Practices in Australia and Aotearoa, go to the PACFA Portal.

Dr Kate Briggs
Australian College of Counselling and Psychotherapy Educators