Living and Working in Australia – Customised Post-Arrival Training

Duration: One or two days

Intensity: One-day program = Moderate; two-day program = High

Participants: Incoming Couples or Single-Status Employees

Venue: To be confirmed

Trainer: Karen Huchendorf, Cultural Acumen

Resource People: From the participant’s home culture (Part 1) and the participant’s Direct Manager (Part 2)

Pre-Work: Complete background questionnaires and the Intercultural Development Inventory



Introductions and Program Overview

  • Introduce the trainer and participants, program objectives and structure

Impressions of Australia

  • Debrief the participants’ experiences to date of Australia and interactions with colleagues

Cultural Self-Awareness

  • Introduce key concepts for understanding and managing cultural differences
  • Relate these concepts to the specific issues of living and working in Australia

Morning Tea

Australian Culture

  • Understand how geographical factors and historical events have shaped the present-day culture of Australia
  • Explore core Australian cultural values

Cross-Cultural Interactions: Part I – with the resource person

  • Differentiate culturally-appropriate from culturally-inappropriate social behaviours and expectations, including courtesies, meeting people, developing relationships, entertaining and gift-giving

Working Lunch: Everyday Life in Sydney – with the resource personDeal directly and specifically with the participants’ concerns and need for information, including international parenting issues for families

Cross-Cultural Interactions: Part II – with the resource person

  • Explore non-verbal communication and cross-cultural “speech acts” such as complimenting, complaining, asking permission or for assistance, apologising, expressing emotions and feelings, thanking, and leave-taking
  • Examine differences between the culture of the participants’ home country and the new culture in concrete, practical situations

Cross-Cultural Effectiveness

  • Gain an awareness of the normal pattern of cross-cultural adjustment over time, highlighting predictable high and low points
  • Understand the particular issues faced by the assignee’s spouse/partner in accepting and successfully completing the assignment
  • Introduce a set of targets for successful cross-cultural adaptation
  • Revise the participants’ current repertoire of stress management techniques

Afternoon Tea

Action Planning

  • Set goals, consider realities and options, and commit to taking action

Summary and Program Evaluation


(Employee only)

Welcome, Introductions and Program Overview

  • Revise program objectives and structure

Intercultural Communication Skills

  • Consider the typical stumbling blocks to effective interpersonal, intercultural communication

The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)

  • Understand the model on which the IDI is based
  • Interpret the participant’s IDI Profile
  • Set targets for further development

Morning Tea

Description, Interpretation, Evaluation Exercise

  • Establish norms for discussion of cross-cultural issues
  • Become aware of value judgments
  • Appreciate the personal and cultural relativity of interpretations and evaluations of the behaviour of others

Conflict, Assertive Communication and Problem-Solving–lecturette, discussion and practice

  • Learn how to communicate clearly and cleanly perceptions of and feelings about a problem without attacking, blaming or hurting the other person

Working Lunch – discussion of “Australian Cultural Values” in the workplace

Critical Incidents – interactive session with the participant’s Direct Manager

  • Apply knowledge of differences between the participant’s home culture and Australian culture to concrete, practical situations that the participant can expect to encounter at work
  • Explore the variety of approaches one might take to the solution of cross-cultural problems and generalise about appropriate and inappropriate behaviour in these circumstances
  • Enable the participant to compare his/her own perceptions, values, judgments, and expectations about cross-cultural encounters with a corporate cultural informant
  • Practice skills of assertive communication and problem-solving

Afternoon Tea

Critical Incidents (cont)

Next Steps and Program Evaluation


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