Can I become an AMHFA Instructor if I am non-Indigenous?

In mid 2016, we trialled opening up applications for non-Indigenous people to apply to become AMHFA Instructors, to co-facilitate with AMHFA Instructors. This decision was made after consultation with AMHFA Instructors.

There are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander MHFA Instructors who are used to co-facilitating their courses with a work colleague who is non-Indigenous, or who have additional training and experience in facilitation, but who do not have the same depth of cultural understanding and knowledge. Allowing them to pair creates opportunities for building capacity both for the community and for the Aboriginal instructor. It is a real loss for the community if an Aboriginal Instructor doesn’t feel confident and comfortable instructing alone and there is no other Aboriginal person in the area who is suitable as an Instructor.

The selection criteria are extremely strict in order to protect Cultural Safety. 

To be eligible:

  • The person must be a non-Indigenous service provider who has been identified and nominated by an Indigenous Community Controlled Organisation, or workplace with a genuine need for an AMHFA Instructor, with a minimum of 1 year of working for the service and involvement with the local Aboriginal community that they are employed (evidence required). 
  • The non-Indigenous person must have supporting letter(s) from either the local Elder council or Respected Aboriginal person(s) of the community for which they service. 
  • The non-Indigenous person must co-facilitate at all times with an AMHFA Accredited Instructor. 
  • When delivering the 14hr course the Indigenous AMHFA Instructor must be the lead Instructor.  
  • If no AMHFA Accredited Instructor resides in the community the workplace of the non-Indigenous person will be required to ensure that the service has access to an Accredited AMHFA Instructor with evidence of such or sponsor a local Aboriginal person to become accredited in AMHFA to ensure access is possible. 
  • The non-Indigenous person must not deliver in a community other than the community they live/work, unless requested by an AMHFA Instructor from a different community. The AMHFA Instructor Coordinator will be notified if this is to occur.

There are a number of reasons why we allow non-Indigenous Instructors to train in the AMHFA course, rather than be Accredited as Standard MHFA Instructors.

  1. Instructors who are planning to regularly co-facilitate with an Instructor with a different accreditation, must gain the accreditation in that second course.
  2. Excluding non-Indigenous people from this process means we are saying we will not provide them with the best training available to run the courses they are running in the community.
  3. There are people who do not wish want to deliver Standard, Youth or Older Person MHFA courses, only AMHFA, and they will lose their other accreditations if they only facilitate AMHFA.


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