Northern Territory Government Remote Engagement and Coordination Online Toolkit

What to wear and conduct

Here’s some guidance from the Department of Health’s Remote Health Atlas.

“Dress requirements for those working in or visiting remote communities are also influenced by local cultural expectations and customs. Activities, mannerisms and dress requirements may be different from those which staff are accustomed to. Respect to local expectations must be shown when staff are seen publicly, whether on duty on not.”

Be aware that revealing clothing and excessive exposure of flesh can cause offence in some communities. Wear comfortable shoes that protect your feet. High heels are not practical and therefore are not recommended.

How things have changed! This was the dress standard back in 1959.

Be sensible about your own safety and mindful of local sensitives. The Remote Health Atlas also recommends:

  • although staff are free to wear what they like in their own accommodation, they must ensure that they are appropriately dressed if someone comes to the door
  • curtains should be closed at night so that occupants cannot be seen
  • both male and female staff need to consider the cultural sensitivities of entertaining community members in their accommodation
  • staff should get to know the community and ask for advice in these matters.

Some communities may have already written up advice - check out these very useful dos and don'ts from Ramingining.

Respectful conduct in Ramingining

Last updated: 14 Feb 2017