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Cross Cultural and Gender Specific Training Unit

Project Officer: Gricel Mendez

Few projects combine innovation, versatility and ingenuity and give the worker the scope of expertise and gratification that the Training Unit managed to offer in the last year. The Training Unit was funded for one year by the Department for Women to gain accreditation for Speakout's domestic violence and cross-cultural training programs and establish a pool of NESB women trainers, which could be used later for the Training Unit. However due to changes in the VETAB guidelines for accreditation of the courses, it was found that Speakout had to gain first, registration as a training provider. The project was then adapted to first set up structures which would allow Speakout to gain registration as a training organisation (RTO).

RTO Registration

Setting up the infrastructure of the training unit to gain registration as training provider was a challenging task which required the collaborative work of all staff and management. Over 400 surveys were sent to community, government and private agencies around NSW in order to assess the needs. The data was then collated and documented. It was reassuring to find that most services favoured the provision of cross- cultural and domestic violence provision training above the more commercialized and widely used courses such as computer skills and front line management. This also confirmed our reputation as a peak service in the area of cross cultural and domestic violence training and gave us a better idea of the demand for training in particular in rural areas. It was also found that the Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace training was one of the most requested courses although the market is highly competitive in this area.

Developing a business plan for the training unit gave a clear view of Speakout's strengths and weaknesses as a training provider and the possible threats and opportunities in the current training market. One of the important steps we made through the business plan was to recognize that our links and networks were mainly with the community sector and therefore we needed to extend those networks to target government departments and private businesses. Once we obtain registration as a training organisation we will have access to a number of funding sources which have shown interest in the project. Local Councils and other organisations have also shown interest in Speakout's training programs in particular to provide cross-cultural communication skills.

Achievement of Outcomes

Some of the achievements for the Training Unit include:

The revision of Speakout's overall Policies and Procedures Manual. Staff and participant manuals outlining the policies and procedures of the training Unit have already been printed.
A total of 4 NESB trainers have completed their Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training. As part of the VETAB scope of courses, Speakout has included a certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training, which will be used to qualify more external trainers. Appropriate advertising for expressions of interest from trainers will be used once registration is completed in accordance with EEO policies.
Coordinating a wide range of training programs in rural areas to government and community workers with the objective of increasing awareness on issues affecting migrant and refugee women in NSW.
A tender was submitted to the Department of Community Services to provide training for their "Cross-cultural communications and working with interpreters" and "Effective Case Practice and Cultural Diversity Training Programs". Interest in the Training Unit has also led to possibilities to consult to community and government agencies. Several opportunities to work as consultants with local government and other community agencies have risen as a result of the advertising of the Training Unit. These partnerships and consultancy opportunities are expected to fulfil the gap in providing specialised services with regards to Cross-cultural and gender training in the training Market.
The development of a training calendar to enhance the marketing of the Training Unit. This training calendar will be distributed to stakeholders around NSW.
A partnership has also been formed with the Centre for Community and Welfare Training (CCWT) to provide training in Orange, Canberra, and Kiama.


A total of 56 workers and volunteers received training in Domestic Violence Provision and Cross- cultural Domestic Violence through the support and participation of the Training Unit. Workers in rural areas particularly benefited on the training programs provided (see Graphs 1 and 2).

The following Training Programs were conducted as part of the Training Unit Calendar for the 2000-2001 period:

Domestic Violence Provision Training
19 June, 2001 (Sydney, Inner West)

Cross Cultural Domestic Violence
8 November, 2000 (Parramatta)
15 November 2000 (Wagga Wagga)
16 November 2000 (Wagga Wagga)
9 May 2001 (Parramatta)

(For more information on Speakout's training programs please refer to the individual projects)

Networks and Forums

An important part of the Training Unit project has been the promotion of courses through relevant networks and forums. The worker has participated in the following networks to raise the profile of Speakout's projects and training resources:

TAFE Women's advisory committee
The South Western Spanish speaking Workers Interagency
Police and Community Team (PACT) advisory committee
TAFE curriculum Access meeting AMES meeting
Chamber of Commerce
Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre
Centre for Community and Welfare Training

The Future

The training Unit will continue to run unfortunately without a worker after September 2001. But several opportunities remain open for the project to continue to subsidise itself and possibly become a source of income for Speakout.