Räl-manapanmirr ga dhä-manapanmirr–Collaborating and connecting: Creating an educational process and multimedia resources to facilitate intercultural communication

Emily Armstrong, Dorothy Gapany, Ḻäwurrpa Maypilama, Yuŋgirrŋa Bukulatjpi, Lyn Fasoli, Sarah Ireland, Anne Lowell

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Purpose: Yolŋu (First Nations Australians from North-East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory) and Balanda (non-Indigenous people) often encounter communication challenges at a cultural interface during the provision of health and education services. To address these challenges, our project co-created an educational process and resources to inform and facilitate intercultural communication. During interactive workshops, participants and researchers from different cultural backgrounds reflected on their communication practice together in small groups. Reflection and discussion during the workshops were supported by multi-media resources designed to be accessible and resonant for both Yolŋu and Balanda partners. Participants explored and implemented strategies during intercultural engagement within and beyond the workshop. In this article we explain our processes of co-creating intercultural communication education and share features of our educational process and resources that resonated with participants from both cultural groups. Method: Our intercultural team of researchers used a culturally-responsive approach to Participatory Action Research (PAR) to co-create an intercultural communication workshop and multi-media resources collaboratively with 52 Yolŋu and Balanda end-users. Result: Collaborating (the power and value of genuine collaboration and engagement throughout the process) and connecting (the meeting and valuing of multiple knowledges, languages and modes of expression) were key elements of both our methods and findings. Our processes co-created accessible, inclusive, collaborative spaces in which researchers and participants were actively supported to implement intercultural communication processes as they learned about them. Conclusion: Our work may have relevance for others who are developing educational processes and resources for facilitating intercultural communication in ways that honour participants’ voices, challenge inaccessible systems, resonate with diverse audiences and create opportunities for research translation.Explanation of terms • Yolŋu are First Nations Australians from North-East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. • Balanda is a term used by speakers of Yolŋu languages to refer to non-Indigenous people. • First Nations Australians is used to include diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. This term recognises the identities of First Nations peoples who hold unceded sovereignty over their lands and waters. • The pronouns we, us and our are used to refer to the intercultural research team who are also authors (i.e. Emily, Gapany, Ḻäwurrpa, Yuŋgirrŋa and supervisors Anne, Lyn and Sarah). When sharing other people’s perspectives, or the voices of individual researchers, the text will specify whose voice is being shared.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-546
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number5
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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