Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Sustainable Intercultural and Collaborative Counselling Training Program

Julian Silverman.

This paper examines the effectiveness of how an awareness of Tongan societal structures and systems and their implications for offending clients helped in the co-development of a culturally relevant counselling training program curriculum. It details how the author was able to work with trainees to adjust the given curriculum that was Eurocentric in its emphases on Western counselling practice and theory. Training program processes and content were transformed to engage with Tongan cultural perspectives rather than remaining rooted in an ahistorical and ethnocentric pedagogical model. The article includes discussions of implications of cultural assumptions underlying western paradigms of counselling and their relations to Tongan traditional societal structures. It concludes with a discussion of a group work based counselling model initiative developed by Tongan correctional officers for Tongan offenders.


Julian Silverman  (Australia)
Coordinator Community Education Programs
Department Social and Community Services
RMIT University

Mr Silverman has undertaken a range of intercultural training programs for RMIT University. He is currently engaged in development and delivery of a Workplace Assessment and Training, customised and contextualised for Indigenous Australian participants. Julian has received a range of industry awards for his intercultural training skills as well as his research and program design capabilities including an Indian Study Tour for Australian students examining self help groups and social change in India. He has also completed radio programs for broadcast in India and Australia

  • Culture
  • caste
  • counseling
  • training
  • Tonga

(Virtual Presentation, English)