Code Switch

Intercultural training courses for Aboriginal wellbeing

Kaartdijin (Knowledge)

Code Switch is a range of intercultural training programs with specific options designed to meet the needs of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participants, along with specialist options for professionals of all backgrounds who work with Aboriginal communities.

Designed to build capacity, cultural understanding and promote Aboriginal wellbeing, the programs are developed and delivered by Aboriginal people, in partnership with a local training provider. Senior Noongar community leaders and experienced Aboriginal wellbeing and education specialists Aubrey Wayne Coles (Wayne) and Willhemina Farmer (Willa) are the key development advisors and lead trainers for this program. Both have extensive tertiary qualifications and have held senior management roles in government and community services, alongside their cultural expertise and many decades working to heal and empower Aboriginal communities.

In partnership with Willa and Wayne, and guided by other Aboriginal Elders, the program is administrated by Professional Development and Community Education specialists Evolve WA. All courses are delivered either exclusively by experienced Aboriginal trainers, or by a dual-cultural partnership of an Aboriginal trainer and culturally trained non-Aboriginal trainer, working together.

Combining specialist cultural expertise with Evolve’s decades of experience in mental health, capacity building and community development education programs, our team presents the Code Switch suite of courses.

Can’t find the topic you are looking for?

We are always developing new courses, so ask us about the option of custom-creating a course to meet your specific needs. We can also tailor all existing courses to meet your groups needs, background and priorities.

Our courses are at the time and date of your choice, anywhere in Australia.

Professional Development (2 days)

Practical skills for those working with Aboriginal communities


Code Switching

Challenges of dual cultures

This insightful workshop explores the fundamentals of what it is like to live and work in Australian society, while remaining faithful to traditional Aboriginal values and cultural obligations.

Participants will learn about what it is like to “code switch”: the art of constantly changing between one set of cultural norms and another which is vastly different.


Co-design Tools

Partnering for better program design

As we journey towards self-determination, many Aboriginal programs and services are still delivered through government or non-Aboriginal service providers.

This course explores how we can utilise powerful co-design processes to design and deliver more effective and appropriate services, in partnership with Aboriginal communities and other key stakeholders.


Transgenerational Trauma

Healing from inherited wounds

Trauma ripples through families and is passed between generations. This leaves the children of trauma survivors as the holders of secondary trauma, which can sometimes have impacts just as catastrophic as the firsthand experience.

This insightful course explores the particular effects of transgenerational trauma and how it presents in Aboriginal people’s lives. It will assist participants to understand behaviours through the trauma lens and equip them to provide more empathetic services.


Strength-based Practice

Capacity and resilience

Where traditional community services and human resources models aim to address gaps or correct client’s deficiencies, strength-based practitioners see clients as capable and resilient and work with individual preferences and abilities to achieve the self-determined goals of each person.

We explore how those working with Aboriginal people can use Strength-based Practice to support, empower and promote self-determination.


Aboriginal Mental Health First Aid

Acclaimed mental health equivalent to standard First Aid

Mental Health First Aid is the help in a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional treatment is received or the crisis resolves.

Led by a skilled Aboriginal trainer, this course is ideal for anyone working with Aboriginal communities. Integrating a cultural perspective, it explores Aboriginal social and emotional well being, mental health problems in indigenous communities and strategies for working ATSI people.

NOTE: this course has an additional $8 resource fee per person for the manual


Aboriginal Suicide Prevention

Reducing preventable death

This lifesaving course is all about what we can do to reduce the suicide risk for Aboriginal clients and the wider community.

We explore preventative measures, assessing risk factors, culturally appropriate ways to talk about suicide, recognising suicidal behaviour, crisis intervention skills and how to link people with appropriate professional support.


De-escalating Aggression

Defusing volatile situations

How we respond to a potential crisis can make the difference between smooth resolution and an emergency situation.

This popular course explores common triggers for Aboriginal people and provides culturally appropriate tools and techniques to respond to threatening, violent or aggressive behaviour.


Managing Aboriginal People

Better professional relationships

Culture influences how we perform across all spheres of life, including the workplace.

Many Aboriginal people have alternative perspectives and expectations of the work-place and may have different professional supervision and support requirements.

Join us to explore these differences and how they can be utilised as strengths in the workplace, as well as learning how to better work with and understand the wellbeing needs of your Aboriginal staff.


Everyday Counselling Tools

Yarning together when times are tough

This course explores practical skills for those who find themselves in a counselling role, through work or life.

Participants will learn a series of structured, discussion-based tools to engage and support others.

We cover a range of advanced communication skills and provide take-home tools and resources for use in a range of real-world situations.


Sensory Wellbeing and Grounding

Emotional anchoring for healing

Grounding techniques are sensory experiences which ground or “anchor” us in the present and help us calm the body, manage emotions and maintain wellbeing.

Presented from an Aboriginal perspective,
these tools are useful for working with both adults and children and are especially helpful
for those with anxiety, depression, trauma or substance use issues.


Sexual and Gender Diversity

The double minority of the “black rainbow”

Explore the cultural intersectional issues of gender and sexual diversity in Aboriginal communities and what it is like to face double discrimination.

This course explores the unique issues faced by Aboriginal people who identify as LGBTIQA and how to fight stigma, bust myths, educate others and offer appropriate support.

Wadjela Learning (1 day)

Cultural learning for non-Aboriginal people, with dual-cultural delivery


Aboriginal Cultural Awareness

An introduction to history and culture

This introductory workshop is designed for beginners who have had little or no previous learning about Aboriginal culture.

Engaging and interactive, it explores key components of Australia’s First Nations peoples including their experiences, history, beliefs and values, lifestyles, and relations with other Australian cultural groups today.

This enlightening course is designed as a first stepping-stone towards understanding Aboriginal people and culture, and towards improved communication and better relationships.


Facilitate Cultural Safety

Building cultural capacity

Cultural identity can have a profound impact on our perspectives and service needs. The ability to facilitate the cultural security of others is a crucial skill for anyone working with diverse people, especially in the health, community or education sectors.

Beyond “cultural awareness” this unique course is the first step to developing a safe, nurturing and positive environment where people are comfortable and supported to with be themselves and expressing their culture and belief systems.


Yarning Circle

The power of storytelling for connection

Storytelling is among the most ancient and powerful of artforms, spanning time and cultures around the world. Human beings respond more to stories than the most well-researched facts, so it is a powerful tool for connection.

This unique workshop links the ancient
yarns of Aboriginal cultures with the multi-cultural stories of contemporary Australia.

We use the power of narratives to learn to understand each other better and build bridges between cultures and towards healing.


Men’s Business, Women’s Business

Aboriginal gender perspectives

Join our male-female team of Aboriginal trainers for this illuminating workshop covering traditional and contemporary Aboriginal gender perspectives.

As well as gaining cultural understanding and awareness, participants will learn practical ways to recognise and accommodate cultural gender needs
among Aboriginal clients and colleagues and learn to make services more culturally appropriate.

Community Education (1 or 2 days*)

Empowerment and capacity building for Aboriginal communities

*Standard courses are two days but abridged one day versions are available for each topic


Assertive Communications

Confidence without aggression

Assertiveness is all about open and honest communication, without being either aggressive or passive. Assertive people stand up for their own and others’ rights in a calm and positive manner and feel comfortable and confident handling conflict and disagreement with others.

This course will develop participants’ ability to communicate in the workplace and community settings. This highly practical course provides participants with plenty of opportunity to practise the skills covered and try out new techniques in a safe and supportive environment.



Stewardship of community organisations

Many Aboriginal people find themselves on a board or management committee without the fundamental skills and understandings which are essential for basic legal compliance – let alone a thriving organisation!

This engaging and practical course is taught from an Aboriginal perspective, but consistent with the WA’s Associations Act and the federal Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act.

This an essential introduction for any new or prospective board members, along with anyone wanting to brush up on the basics.


Courage to Heal

The work of wellness

Most Aboriginal people alive today have experienced hardship and distress and often atrocities and human rights abuses.

The work of recovery and healing is long term and multigenerational, but there are things which can profoundly help.

Combining traditional healing approaches with narrative therapy, connection to country and recovery-oriented practice, this powerful workshop invites participants to step into a circle of healing and learn the tools of recovery.


Lifesaving Conversations

Reducing the risk of suicide

Sometimes the difference between a person attempting suicide and getting the help they need is the support of someone like you.

This lifesaving course is all about what ordinary people can do to reduce the risk of suicide and self-harm and help keep their mob safe.

We explore culturally appropriate ways to talk about suicide, crisis intervention skills and how to encourage help seeking.


Sharing Your Story

Using your lived experience to help others

Have you had a life experience which you think might help others? Do you think your personal lived experience could be used to inspire, comfort or empower?

This compelling workshop is designed to help participants harness the power of their own personal lived experience and share their story to support others facing similar challenges.


Strategic Planning

Getting where you want to go

This course is for community leaders or members of an organisation.

Strategic planning is all about taking a structured “big picture” approach to achieving your mission and objectives.

This practical and empowering course will provide a flexible template for creating a strategic plan and the skills and resources to create something which works for you.


Individual Advocacy

Taking action on injustice

Advocacy means speaking out on behalf of someone’s rights. It is easy to get angry when someone is treated unfairly, but what if you had the skills to fight back in strategic and effective ways?

Whether you want to address disadvantage you have experienced personally or help someone else, this course provides practical tools to make a difference.


Mentoring Skills

Passing on your learning

This course is all about empowering participants to become a mentor to someone who might benefit.

We explore the role of a mentor and how to establish a formal or informal mentoring relationship. We explore specific tools and skills for effective and engaging mentoring and how to offer value without judgement.


Systemic Advocacy

How to change the world

Whereas individual advocacy helps a specific person or situation, systemic advocacy is about changing the system for everyone.

This course provides foundation knowledge for effective systemic advocacy and explores a range of the most powerful tactics for your cause. We explore areas like strategic campaign planning, successful campaign case studies, collaborating for success, selecting tools and tactics and persuasive communication.


Public Speaking

Skills to address an audience

Learn one of the great life skills in this fun and empowering course! We explore confidence building, managing anxiety, basic speaking skills, speech structure and content, along with live practice and individual feedback.

The second day covers specific skills and strategies for more impactful speaking, such as vocal range and verbal technique, body language and use of storytelling and quotes.


Managing Difficult Emotions

Healthy ways to face feelings

Have you had a life experience which you think might help others? Do you think your personal lived experience could be used to inspire, comfort or empower?

This compelling workshop is designed to help participants harness the power of their own personal lived experience and share their story to support others facing similar challenges.


Positive Psychology and Resilience

Evidence driven tools for wellbeing

Drawing on decades of peer-reviewed research, this course explores what is required for human flourishing and offers a suite of practical tools to help everyone live an optimal life.
Pragmatic, enjoyable and accessible, this course introduces a range of intentional activities to increase wellbeing and positive feelings in the context of real life.


Grant Writing Skills

Tools to fund your project

Any community organisation knows that reliable funding is the cornerstone to being able to deliver services and achieve objectives.

But why do some organisations seem to write grant applications so successfully and others continually struggle?

This practical and revealing course looks at what funding bodies are really looking for and how to maximise your chances of success.


Breaking Family Cycles

Be the one who makes the change

Families are all about patterns. The things we experienced as children becomes our version of normal and it is natural to repeat those patterns with our own children.

That’s why trauma travels in families until someone is ready to heal it. But repeating patterns is not inevitable. This workshop is designed to be the first step to exploring what it takes to change a pattern and be the one who breaks the cycle.



Thought tools for mental calm

Our thoughts and internal “self-talk” create our “mental life”, which determines our moods, emotions, subjective experiences and ultimately our quality of life.

Most of us have ingrained thinking habits, which make life tougher, without us even being aware of them. The good news is that thoughts can be changed.

This course will provide powerful insights and practical tools for modifying thought patterns to improve your life.


Intervention Skills

How to step in to prevent harm

Anyone can find themselves as a bystander, witnessing an act of discrimination, injustice, threatening behaviour, bullying, harassment, abuse or other unacceptable behaviour.

Knowing how to intervene in a case of danger or injustice is a core life skill that can often protect the vulnerable and prevent harm.

This crucial course will teach you the practical steps any bystander can take to reduce risk and make a difference.

MAAMAN (men)


Stepping Up

Rising above reactivity

This course is for any Aboriginal men ready to explore who they are and who they can be. It is about acknowledging past experiences and inherited behaviours and deciding the kind of man we want to be in the future.

We learn tools to recognise and regulate emotions, process our pain and communicate with respect and strength.

This course is about being the kind of man who is an asset to family and community:
a man who is a role model for young people and who has strength to lend to others.


Stepping In

Leading community change

Available to those who have completed “Stepping Up” or equivalent and want to take the next step as a leader of change.

Participants learn how ordinary men can Step In and be the change that sees communities address family violence,
and associated harms.

We explore a range of safe intervention
skills. We also learn that it is our job to question outdated toxic cultures and form allegiances against violence, secrecy and predatory behaviours.

By learning to recognise and evaluate potential harms and respond courageously shoulder to shoulder, we can be the guardians of safer communities and the warriors demanding healthy futures.

YORGA (women)


Stepping Up

Stepping Out

This course is for any Aboriginal women ready to Step Out of the shadows and connect to their source of courage.

By reconnecting with our inner strength,
we explore how to communicate assertively, speak up in groups and stand our ground in challenging situations.

Learning how to challenge cultural and gender stereotypes and question our assumptions, we also discover the importance of maintaining a supportive sisterhood and elevating other women.

This course is about becoming the kind of wise, strong and confident women that our families and communities need us to be.


Stepping Forward

Becoming a community leader

Available to those who have completed “Stepping Out” or equivalent and want to take the next step as a community leader.
Designed to build skills in decision making, mediation leadership and network building, this program is about empowering women
to Step Forward and lead others.
By developing a clear vision for the future, women can lead our communities beyond
the struggles of the past and toward a future of our own making.
We explore how to work collaboratively, plan strategically and communicate with influence by harnessing our strength and designing the future we want to see.

Course Details


All courses are available at the time and a date of your choice, fully customised to meet your group’s needs.


Available anywhere in Australia.


All courses are delivered by at least one trainer of Aboriginal heritage.


Prices include:

  • Trainers with extensive cultural and subject matter expertise
  • Trainer preparation and travel in Perth metro area
  • Customisation for your group
  • Quality resource packages
  • Personalised certificate of attendance for each person

Prices exclude venue, catering or travel outside Perth metro area (Transperth Zone 3)

2022 Prices

Bookings for your organisation or event include full customisation to meet your needs and delivery is available at a time, date and location of your choice.

For training held outside of the Perth metro area (Transperth Zone 3), please contact us to discuss travel arrangements and costs for the location of your choice.