First Nations Webinars, Courses & Websites

4 April 2023

There are a number of excellent CPD webinars, courses, audio recordings, podcasts and websites available that aim to help practitioners gain a better understanding of First Nations knowledge and designing with Country. General courses on Aboriginal Cultural Inclusion and Cultural Competence are also extremely valuable to help build understanding and cultural competence.

This resource roundup is by no means exhaustive. We will continue to add resources over time.



First Nations Performance Criteria

The AASA/AACA webinar on the new First Nations Performance Criteria in the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects was run in September 2022. In this session, AACA CEO Kathlyn Loseby provides an overview of the 2021 NSCA before handing it over to Dr Danièle Hromek (Budawang/Yuin), author of the 2021 NSCA Explanatory Notes, and AACA National Advisory Panellist Sarah Lynn Rees (Palawa). Danièle and Sarah discuss the Seven First Nations PCs – covering the definitions and how they can be demonstrated, particularly to University Providers. The session also features a Q&A session moderated by AASA President Dr John Doyle. (Free on Youtube)


Reconciliation Action Plans

What is a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), why are they so important and how do you create one? This 2021 panel discussion led by the ACA and TheFulcrum.Agency is available as a CPD webinar on demand. Learn more about RAPs, including insights from other practices and what you can do to participate in the program. (ACA members/non members $25/40; 1 CPD point)


First Nations History in WA

This ACA online presentation, featuring speaker Scott Patterson from Ochre Project Services, provides valuable insights into First Nations history in Western Australia since British colonisation. Scott’s heritage is Yawuru (Broome) and Nyinkina (East Derby) and his presentation is deeply personal, drawing on family stories to describe Western impact on Aboriginal culture over the last 200 years. The ACA presents this topic as part of its ongoing commitment towards a reconciled Australia. This presentation aims to help participants: better understand the complexities of First Nations history in WA; create workplaces where First Nations people feel welcome and valued; include First Nations voices in projects in a meaningful way; and provide resources for ACA members to improve business and project outcomes. (ACA members/non members $25/40; 1 CPD point)


Practicing on Country

The Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney has developed a Practicing on Country CPD course for architects, planners and the built environment industry. The course features Dr Michael Mossman (Associate Dean, Indigenous Strategy & Services, Lecturer and Researcher) and Elle Davidson (Aboriginal Planning Lecturer), and is available to purchase as an online, self-paced 1.5-hour learning module. ACA members are eligible for a 20% discount (ACA members/non members $120/150; 1 CPD point).

Designing with Country

This 2019 Planning Connects webinar features Dillon Kombumerri (Principal Architect, Government Architect NSW) and Dr Danièle Hromek (Djinjama), discussing Designing with Country, Caring for Country and Aboriginal Spatial Experiences of Land and Country.



Deadly Djurumin Yarns

Our friends at Parlour have been running a series of monthly yarns from the perspectives of First Nations women working in the built environment. Established in September 2021 and convened by Sarah Lynn Rees and Dr Danièle Hromek, these CPD sessions have covered topics such as understanding and designing with Country, cultural safety, decolonisation, sustainability, countermapping, the power of planning, and a series of case studies. The Yarns teach audiences how to be excellent accomplices, and how to work respectfully with Country, community, culture and Indigenous knowledges. There are currently 14 sessions available to purchase on demand. (General/Parlour Collective/Concession $50/38/11 per session; 1 CPD point)



Established in 2017, the BLAKitecture program is curated by MPavilion’s program consultant Sarah Lynn Rees and is part of the MPavilion’s annual program of events. Discussions aim to centralise Indigenous voices in conversations about architecture, the representation of histories, the present state and the future of our built environments. Topics have included Indigenising Education, Women’s Business, Cultural Protocols, Deep Listening, Storytelling and Memorialisation. Sessions are available in an audio archive of recordings at the MPavilion website or as a podcast series (free).

Mecca Events

Mecca Events has several CPD sessions available. ‘First Nations Design Principles in Architecture and Building’ includes presentations from Alan Murray (Yorta Yorta) Principal – Aboriginal Affairs, WSP; Michael Hromek (Yurin) Technical Executive – Indigenous Design, Architecture and Knowledge, WSP; and Shaneen Fantin of POD (People Oriented Design) in Cairns. ‘Developing a Reconciliation Plan for your Business’, led by the WSP Indigenous Specialist Services team, provides a step-by-step guide to developing a Reconciliation Plan within practice. ‘First Nations Engineering and Sustainable Design’ examines what can be learned from Aboriginal Engineering and Design Principles, particularly with respect to land management practices and lessons around sustainable land and building management. ($99 per session; 2 CPD points

Cultural Competence – Aboriginal Sydney

This Sydney University online course explores some of the key themes and capabilities of cultural competence by exploring Aboriginal experiences and narratives of Sydney. Sydney is a city rich in diverse pre-colonial, colonial and contemporary sites of significance to Aboriginal peoples. Too often though our perceptions about Aboriginal peoples consign them to an ancient past or perpetuates stereotypical imaginations that Aboriginal peoples live in remote communities. The Aboriginal presence in the city is often invisible to non-Aboriginal eyes. This course aims to bring to light marginalised narratives of Aboriginal presence in this space. To understand hidden and marginalised narratives and experiences it is necessary to develop cultural competence capabilities. Course learning outcomes include: 1. Develop knowledge about cultural competence capabilities; 2. Develop a deeper and multi-layered knowledge and understanding about Aboriginal peoples, cultures and places in Sydney; and 3. Develop a greater understanding of how history, cultures and places are represented, contested and interpreted and how that relates to their own context. (with/without certificate $70/free)



AACA – National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA)

Embedded within the practice of architecture, as defined by the NSCA, is the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ ongoing connection and custodianship of Country, and the ethical responsibilities to the physical environment and the transition to a carbon-neutral built environment. These responsibilities are fundamental to architecture practice, and are now incorporated into the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects.

You can download a copy of the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA) from the AACA website, along with the NSCA Explanatory Notes and Definitions, which supports the new areas of knowledge, defining terms such as Caring for Country, Cultural practices, Culturally responsive, Cultural competence, Cultural safety, Knowledge holders, Cultural appropriation, Vouching, Impact on Country, and Law / Lore.

Reconciliation Australia 

An independent not-for profit organisation that promotes and facilitates reconciliation by building relationships, respect and trust between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Work includes research, advocacy, policy and campaign support, and advice and guidance on developing Reconciliation Action Plans.


Uluru Statement to the Heart

This extensive website features the Uluru Statement to the Heart and how it came to be, resources, short courses and advice on how to take action, as well as detailed histories including sections on First Nations Law, Invasion, Resistance, Mourning, Activism, Land Rights and Makarrata (Treaty). The Uluru Dialogue represents the cultural authority of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and leads community education on the Uluru Statement’s reforms of Voice, Treaty and Truth. The Uluru Dialogue is based at the Indigenous Law Centre, UNSW Sydney.


CareerTrackers has supported pre-professional Indigenous university students for more than a decade, linking them with employers to participate in paid, multi-year internships. Students perform their internships with sponsorship organisations, with the aim of converting from intern into full-time employee upon completion of their university degree. CareerTrackers also provides interns and their sponsoring organisations with year-round support to assist students at university, and in their chosen professions and their communities. For more info, see relevant ACA articles on CareerTrackers and former CareerTrackers alumni Samantha Rich.

National Indigenous Times

The National Indigenous Times is a 100% Aboriginal-owned Indigenous affairs news organisation. NIT produces a monthly printed newspaper read by close to 1 million people across Australia and an active digital news website.

The core issues discussed by NIT include Indigenous business, justice for Stolen Generations survivors, fashion and the arts, sport, Voice, Treaty and Truth, and deaths in custody. The newspaper is a fantastic way to stay up-to-date with First Nations perspectives and focus issues.