Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Strange insights into the way minds work

I have just sat through a meeting with a representative of an accreditation agency, examining my (well, my department's, which means my) progress against a Quality Action Plan.

Ignore the title, that's bad enough but ignore it for the time being.

We were talking about collecting demographic information on clients, and I stated that we now had the systems in place, paper and electronic, to collect ethnic status on clients where appropriate.

"What about indigenous status?" He asked.

Huh? I'm sorry, I thought "ethnic" referred to any racial/cultural grouping, Anglo-Saxon included? I thought ATSI status is a specific ethnic status. Apparently not. I carefully worded a response indicating that yes, we did do that, there was even a specific box for just that (discriminatory) purpose, but I was also very careful to make mention of ATSI being a sub-set of "ethnic". He appeared happy with that.

I'm not entirely sure I was happy with his question.

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