Enable a Thriving Workplace and Culture

Smoking ceremonies  

The beginning of 2019 started with smoking ceremonies at all service sites except for the Marion due to building restrictions. The ceremonies were undertaken as part of Relationship Australia South Australia’s ongoing acknowledgement of the cultural and spiritual heritage of Aboriginal people and in order to honour the place of their continuing traditions where our offices are located. The role of the smoking ceremony is to cleanse places and people of bad spirits and promote wellbeing – an important way to start the year for staff and clients who use our services. We give thanks to Uncle Lewis, Uncle Barney, Jack Buckskin, and Michael O’Brien for doing the smoking ceremonies at our sites.  

About our staff and volunteers

We have 288 staff members …

  • 46% part time
  • 42% full time
  • 12% casual
  • 80% female
  • 20% male
  • Other 78%
  • 18% Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
  • 4% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

… and 226 volunteers 

  • 58% female
  • 42% male

From the bottom of our hearts, we want to say thank you to all the volunteers that enrich the work we do and the services we deliver.

Annual Staff Survey  

The results of the annual staff survey were overwhelming positive and indicate that staff feel strongly supported.  

find their work meaningful
of staff are engaged by the work they do
are satisfied with their role
believe that the supervision they receive supports their work and development

RASARAMA – Annual Staff Day  

Our annual staff day got a new look and feel in 2019. It was renamed RASARAMA and played a strong emphasis on engagement, fun and connection. 

Staff registered for RASARAMA
Staff registered for the after party
of staff had a better understanding of tech, research and evalutation
of staff had a better grasp on gender and identity
of staff were sweet on the icecream cart

Staff Professional Development  

Cultural Fitness 

All staff who start at Relationships Australia South Australia are required to undertake cultural fitness training. Learning about and awareness of cultural fitness is an ongoing activity in our organisation and staff at all levels make a regular commitment to improve their cultural fitness. Staff often say that cultural fitness training is one of the most transformational learning experiences they have had 

Participants in cultural fitness training showed improvement in knowledge, attitudes and behavioural intention as a direct result of the training.  Almost three quarters of participants experienced an increase in knowledge, with significant improvements also shown in key areas of attitudinal change; acknowledging white privilege, personal responsibility for change and collective responsibility for ongoing disadvantage. The training had a large impact on the frequency with which participants intended to address prejudice towards Aboriginal people when they saw it in both professional and personal contexts.  

Principles Guiding Cultural Fitness

Australia is a land of opportunity for all (acknowledging white privilege)

It’s my responsibility to influence other people’s attitudes to Aboriginal people (personal responsibility for change)

Non-Indigenous Australians are responsible for the bad outcomes suffered by Indigenous Australians today (collective responsibility) 

How often did participants feel that they addressed prejudice towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people when witnessed in a profession setting?

Before participating in Cultural Fitness

Participants plans after Cultural Fitness

  • Sometimes 53%
  • Rarely or never 31%
  • Every time 16%
  • Every time 77%
  • Sometimes 20%
  • Rarely or never 3%

Participants also felt much more likely to address prejudice towards Aborginal and Torres Strait Islander people when they witness it in their personal lives, with 77% planning to address it every time.

MERTIL (My Early Relational Trauma Informed Learning) 

As part of the Relationships Australia South Australia (RASA)-Deakin University partnership, RASA staff received significant upskilling through MERTIL (My Early Relational Trauma Informed Learning). MERTIL is an Australian-first, offering to sharpen clinical practice in detecting and responding to infant and maternal mental health risks in the perinatal and postpartum period.  

This innovative program combines audio, video, text and face-to-face workshop formats. It was delivered and led by Professor Jenn McIntosh at Deakin University and Professor Louise Newman from the Royal Women’s Hospital, Victoria. Over 20 RASA staff have now been accredited through MERTIL.