Cultural Awareness

It is important for us to acknowledge and respect each others’ perspectives, our ways of seeing the world and to find that place where we can all meet, grow and learn. Perhaps the response to this is the creation of the third cultural space.

The “third cultural space” as a model recognises that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have distinct and deep cultural and world views, views that differ from those found in most Western systems. When both systems are acknowledged and valued equally, the overlapping or merging views represents an new way of dealing with our cultures and ways of working.

The diagram depicts this visually, the black circle represents the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing, being and doing, and the red circle represents Western ways. The yellow overlapping circle is the third cultural space. (Model by J Davis 2008).

This model gives both cultures the opportunity to leave behind their share of “cultural baggage”; our assumptions about the “other”. Some of our histories are separate and culturally unique, while some of our histories are shared.