The Aboriginal and Torres Islander People do not speak English and speak in dialects like Aboriginal English, Kriol and Torres Strait Creole
Eye contact can be perceived as rude, aggressive and disrespectful among the members of communities
Confidentiality should be maintained, important discussions should not be conducted in public places(Shahid et al., 2013).
Non-verbal communication like facial expression and hand gestures have different meaning among members of Aboriginal community and Western world
Physical proximity should be avoided while communicating with members of the community specially with members of opposite sex
Safe distance should be maintained and unknown members of the community should not be touched
For Aboriginal community, avoiding eye-contact is considered respectful, while in Western society it can reflect dishonesty(Sharifian, 2013).
Explanations should be clear and have clarity to avoid confusion
Indirect questioning is favored among members of the community
A question should be framed as a statement and time should be given to community members to answer
Direct questioning can lead to misunderstandings
Indirect questioning can encourage participation of community members and meaningful information can be extracted from them
Rapport should be built well and a person of Western culture should introduce himself in amiably
Stories of oneself and topics of common interest can be discussed
In Western culture, punctuality is maintained to meet deadlines
Among Aboriginal community, family and relationships are given priority
Flexible consultation times should be allotted to community members
Complex words and jargons should be avoided
The meaning of words should be clearly understood while communicating with Aboriginal people
Diagrams, models and images can be used to explain concepts and instructions
Periods of silence during conversation is highly valued
Members of Western society should pause whenever required while communicating with Aboriginal people
Silence should not be misconstrued as lack of understanding
Members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community have a tendency to agree even when they do not understand the speaker
The community members should be made comfortable so that they do not agree to the question just to rush from the place
Clarification should be asked to understand if members of the community have understood the speaker
Assistance and cultural support could be asked from community members after building rapport with them(Sharifian, 2013).
Bell, C., & Kahane, D. (Eds.). (2013). Intercultural dispute resolution in aboriginal contexts. UBC Press.
Shahid, S., Durey, A., Bessarab, D., Aoun, S. M., & Thompson, S. C. (2013). Identifying barriers and improving communication between cancer service providers and Aboriginal patients and their families: the perspective of service providers. BMC health services research, 13(1), 460.
Sharifian, F. (2013). Cultural linguistics and intercultural communication. Language and intercultural communication in the new era. New York: Routledge, 60-79.
Sharifian, F. (2013). Cultural linguistics. The encyclopedia of applied linguistics.
Sharifian, F. (2014). Conceptual metaphor in intercultural communication between speakers of Aboriginal English and Australian English. Metaphor and intercultural communication, 117-129.