Cross-cultural Training With Traditional Owners Provides Important Link for NT Bus Employees

L R Colin Majid Buslinks Community Engagement Manager And Larrakia Nations Donna Jackson
(L R) Colin Majid, Buslink’s Community Engagement Manager And Larrakia Nation’s Donna Jackson

A desire to gain a greater depth of understanding of Darwin’s local Indigenous culture saw Buslink NT drivers gather to learn more about the Top End’s original people when they participated in a cross-cultural training session on 21 September.

The history of the Northern Territory capital, its original people, and the inequality, struggle and disadvantage those people face, were part of the session organised as a part of Buslink NT’s ongoing partnership with Larrakia Nation.

Although Buslink has its own Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness sessions, People and Culture Business Partner, Erin Harvey said presenter Donna Jackson touched on a lot of topics relating to the history of the Larrakia and Aboriginal values in the workplace – differing to what Buslink offered, which was more tailored to the interactions drivers would have with Aboriginal people.

“This initial session, designed to complement our existing Cultural Awareness training program, was for our urban drivers, who deal with the public,” Ms Harvey said.

“We had a really good turn out with about 20 drivers in attendance.”

Erin Harvey People And Culture Business Partner Buslink NT
Erin Harvey, People And Culture Business Partner, Buslink NT

Ms Jackson said the training session, which has also been delivered to some of Darwin’s leading tourism operators and businesses, was well received by Buslink’s drivers.

“Our aim is to lead employees to greater understanding in a highly practical and relatable way. We leave attendees with tools they can easily apply and adapt to daily working life,” Ms Jackson said.

The interactive, culturally informative one-and-a-half-hour session offered key take away learnings including:

  • Understanding who the Larrakia People are, and what Larrakia Country is
  • Basic knowledge of the history of Darwin and the contribution of Aboriginal people to it
  • Insight into some of the consequences of that history for Aboriginal people today
  • Awareness of some key values in Aboriginal culture – including family, country, and sacred sites
  • Awareness of good communication practices with Aboriginal workmates
  • Appreciation of the achievements of Aboriginal people in contemporary society

Find out more about Larrakia Nation at or Facebook @larrakianation