Culturally safe practice in the
Australian context
A view, not a prescription…
Australia, circa 0000 or so
Australia, circa 0000 or so
Ref: Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, 2007
Australia, circa 2000 or so
History
• Medicine and Surgery have been
around for a long time.
• But they have only recently come
together.
• Astrologers, philosophers and
barbers are our antecedents
History
“I shall desire you of more
acquaintance, Good Master Spider
Web.
If I cut my finger I shall make bold
with you...”
Culture
• Many definitions, and much talk about
there being no standard definition.
• Culture: The system of shared beliefs,
values, customs, behaviours, and
artefacts that the members of society
use to cope with their world and with one
another, and that are transmitted from
generation to generation through
learning.
Ref: University of Manitoba
What is Indigenous identity?
• An Aboriginal person or a Torres
Strait Islander person is a person of
Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
descent who identifies as an
Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
and is accepted as such by the
community in which he or she lives
Cultural safety
•
•
•
•
•
Common sense?
Ethnicity or Indigeneity?
Check list of what not to do’s?
Being polite?
Asking the Indigenous question in
the hospital
• Having some posters on the wall?
Headlines
• Lack of respect will not help
indigenous children - SMH
• More languages are at risk of
extinction in Northern Australia than
any other place in the world – AGE
• people think that maintaining their
language and culture is an important
part of keeping their society together
Headlines
• Ampe akelyernemane meke
mekarle: Little children are
sacred
• 97 recommendations
• 320 pages of painstaking
consultation, representation of the
facts and thought-out conclusions
Safety
• How safe is it for our families and
communities, our students, our patients,
and others in our world, even our
teachers and academics?
• How safe are we in our own futures, our
own ability to place our feet on the
ground, and to feel our place through our
feet to our soul?
• How safe are we in conducting our
business, our way?
Safety
• How safe is it for our families and
communities, our students, our patients,
and others in our world, even our
teachers and academics?
• How safe are we in our own futures, our
own ability to place our feet on the
ground, and to feel our place through our
feet to our soul?
• How safe are we in conducting our
business, our way?
Cultural safety
• Cultural safety is important, nay
vital to us, no matter our role in
Australia's society
Cultural safety
• Cultural safety is important, nay
vital to us, no matter our role in
Australia's society
Cultural safety
• Cultural safety is important, nay
vital to us, no matter our role in
Australia's society
• “If I cut your finger I shall make for
you what’s best...”
Cultural safety
• Cultural safety is important, nay
vital to us, no matter our role in
Australia's society
• “If I cut your finger I shall make for
you what’s best...”
• “I shall desire you of more
acquaintance, Good Peoples of this
Land…”
Cultural safety
•
•
•
•
•
•
Recipient care
Reflection on self
Enhances care
Does not diminish, disempower
Gives power
Recognises inequalities
Cultural safety
• What is the background of this person?
• How will this affect the way I will interact
with this individual, their family and
community?
• How will this lead my behaviours in
dealing with this person?
• What are the special relationships
(power laden…culturally dyadic) in this
interaction?
• Where are the human rights
implications?
Where to next
• We need to have the discussion on
Cultural Safety. Right here, in
Australia, as a group
• Individuals and organisations
should not do this in isolation
• We need to come together and get
it happening
Conclusion
• Cultural awareness is not enough
• What is needed is broad institutional
reform
• Ensure knowledge, skills and attitudes of
all staff are aligned with any area of new
endeavour
• Restructure power-sharing, decision
making and resource arrangements to
include Indigenous people -Tom Calma
Thank you
[email protected]
0404 859 989
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