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Cultural Intelligence Workshops


Turruk is an immersive learning journey that gathers a curious community, inviting them to connect the dots of their own cultural intelligence through respectful relationships with First Peoples.

Turruk - Cultural Intelligence Workshops

Turruk is an immersive learning journey, organised by the trustbuilding team in Australia, that gathers a curious community, inviting them to connect the dots of their own cultural intelligence through respectful relationships with First Peoples. Participants engage in culturally safe yarning circles led by diverse First Nations perspectives and engage in workshops for critical and creative reflection. Here, impactful truth-telling is coupled with deep listening to enable incremental transformation with purposeful action. Decolonising frameworks are explored to confront unconscious bias and assumptions around the ongoing impact of colonisation.

A longstanding tradition of trustbuilding

Turruk is a signature program of Initiatives of Change Australia (IofC Australia), whose people have been trustbuilding with First Peoples in Australia since 1965. With the invitation of the Uluru Statement of the Heart to walk together to express their nationhood, Turruk has been developed to build trust in developing co-design opportunities. IofC Australia's theory of change is underpinned by shifting the perception of working with First Peoples from a 'deficit' lens to a 'resource' lens, respecting self-determination in the process. 

Five principles of trustbuilding

The five principles of trustbuilding that Turruk focuses on are: 

  • Authentic leadership
  • Inclusive dialogues
  • Healing historical wounds 
  • Diverse collaboration
  • Trust building futures

Trustbuilding with a different cultural lens

In this instance, Turruk has adapted the trustbuilding methodology with a cultural lens from Yorta Yorta, Wurrundjeri and BoonWurrung man Uncle Shane Charles, and First Nations leaders in Victoria and across Australia. Over the past three years, the trustbuilding work in Australia has attracted over 2400 participants in more than 35 national and local education forums, including workshops and walking tours in Australia.


Hybrid offer

Turruk can be experienced in parts, as three-hour curated workshops, or as a complete program of five sessions in themed yarning circles led by First Peoples. Typically, workshops feature First Nations speakers and participants with diverse perspectives, primarily held in person but often with an online offer. Each yarn is coupled with a masterclass led by Initiatives of Change Australia facilitators and attracts a broad spectrum of intercultural, multisectoral and intergenerational community participation. 

Immersive experiences

Generally, Turruk takes place at 'Armagh' – the home of Initiatives of Change Australia, and a National Centre for Excellence in Reconciliation, Education and Healing. The program is framed with immersive experiences, including Welcome to Country, smoking ceremonies, yidaki healings, and bushtucker-themed food offers. Held in Armagh's grand homestead and gardens, the space hosts pop-up Indigenous art exhibitions and performances, an Indigenous library and a community notice board of First Peoples cultural events.

Turruk for business

Turruk is now also available for business and was recently tailored to suit the needs of esteemed architecture practice Woods Bagot, with offices globally. By crafting the initial meeting as cultural audits, the program was developed around the top eight questions asked by participants related explicitly to designing with First Peoples' perspectives in the built environment, which was illustrated by examples of best practise, protocols, procurement, processes, and grassroots lived experiences of unconscious bias and healing historical wounds.

'Congratulations on the Turruk Trustbuilding course, I learnt so much through the journey and it has sparked so many ideas! I had no preconceived notions of what to expect, or what I would take from it - only that I come with an open mind and heart – and the experience has been incredible. Confronting, challenging, humbling, and inspiring all at the same time. I have also met some incredible people, and hope it is the start of some amazing friendships and collaborations to come! As part of our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), we have items relating to learning, understanding, knowledge building and empathy - I look forward to collaboration opportunities we have for creating a bespoke corporate program and connecting with some of your other activities.'  

-Bronwyn Mc Coll, Reconciliation Steering Committee Woods Bagot