“Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Child Protection Practice Standards”
Over the past 12 months I have been privileged to work with QATSICPP staff and staff from the Griffith University First Peoples Health Unit as we designed and delivered this brand new course for 2018/2019. At Griffith University a course is what we call a single subject.
The development of this course, offered at a postgraduate level via the Graduate Certificate of Human Services at Griffith University, is the end result of a vision by the QATSICPP Board and Staff to offer a university level training opportunity for staff who work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community based and community controlled organisation within child protection and family wellbeing. The course is grounded from and developed around the QATSICPP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Practice Standards along with further content developed from QATSICPP and other relevant content. It builds and expends on the important training QATSICPP has been rolling out over past years.
From the initial meetings between Griffith staff and QATSICPP through to the delivery of the course over the 2018/2019 summer I feel the process has been an extremely positive and rewarding one for all participants. This includes the wonderful group of practitioners who enrolled in the course for its first offering and become the first group of students to take the course.
For many of the participants this was their first experience with university level study which is exactly the outcome QATSICPP was hoping to see. It has been clear from the start that QATSICPP have a commitment to support the staff of community organisations to gain more formal qualifications via training that is relevant to their work, culturally safe and supportive of career development.
The course is a mix of online learning that supports a week long residential held in Brisbane in mid-December. There will always be challenges and unforeseen issues with the rolling out of a brand new course such as this, especially when it involves participants having to commit to a week long, intensive learning program, away from home and family. I commend the QATSICPP staff and the staff of the Griffith First Peoples Health Unit for working closely together, on tight deadlines, to make the residential happen.
This first group of students really stepped up to all the challenges both logistically and academically and came together at the Griffith University South Bank campus in Brisbane to create a fantastic collaborative learning experience. Particularly valuable in this week was the huge wealth of knowledge and experience that participants already held coming into the course. It was a week of hard work and commitment and as the course convenor I was really impressed with the positive approach all the participants took.
Outside of the residential the students have also successfully stepped-up to the challenges of online learning and collaboration with participants tuning into the virtual campus from southern Queensland through to the far north and the far west. The technology available through the Griffith digital online environment makes it possible for students to feel much more connected and engaged with the course and each other. It’s a big improvement from the old distance education packages that might have arrived in the mail.
It’s a bit early to report officially on the final outcomes of the course as participants are finishing their final assessments now, with many experiencing huge disruptions from the flooding in north Queensland, however, it’s looking like we will be having a very successful end to what has been a successful first run of the course. I hope to see this innovative and important collaboration between QATSICPP and Griffith University go from strength to strength as we look to offer it again in 2019.
Article provided by: Glenn Woods, Course Convenor, School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University.