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Cultural Awareness And Cultural Safety

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Discuss about the Cultural Awareness and Cultural Safety.


Cultural Awareness and Cultural Safety

  1. Cultural awareness is the process of recognizing and accepting other peoples’ cultural identities. Cultural awareness makes people respect the cultural diversity and people with different cultural tradition, beliefs and values (Pokhilko, 2016). This enables someone to experience other culture from the perspective of other. In the globalized era, cultural awareness helps to connect with each other and develop a free and open environment by overcoming cultural challenges.
  2. Cultural safety ensures the safety of the people of certain environment where they do not experience any challenges, conflicts or assault because of their cultural identity. Cultural safety becomes real when the meaning, knowledge, experience and learning is shared with dignity among individuals within the community (, 2017). Cultural safety acts beyond the cultural awareness channelizing the negative changes towards positivity.
  3. The aboriginals inhabited Australia for thousands of years before the colonists inhabited the land. During his voyage James Cooks declared the land as Terra Nullius or “no one’s land” in the eighteenth century (Hudec, 2013). The history war related to real causes is still going on; however few reasons can be considered. Firstly some believe that the existence of the aboriginals were unknown to them at that time. Secondly some believe the claim was deliberate. The land of uncivilized people of primitive society was included in the term they used to claim the land which was “desert and uncultivated”.
  4. The aboriginal identity was lost because of many initiatives taken up by the settlers of that period. One of them is dispossession. After the initial establishment, the colonial government started to sell and lease the land to other settlers (Price, 2015). . The mass killing was initiated by the colonists over the rights of the lands and forced the aboriginals to leave their lands. The cultural misunderstandings resulted in violent conflicts between the settlers and the aboriginals. The colonists’ firepower made the aboriginals lose most of the fights.
  5. The families of Australian aboriginals are extended and not nuclear like modern day families. Family and kinship are the key drivers that bind the aboriginals together (Malinowski, 2015). There are several clans consisting father, mother, uncle, brother, sister, aunt and other cousins. The clan’s wellbeing is supported by the psychological and emotional support of the members. The kinship holds the responsibilities that the clan member follows.
  6. Because millions of the aboriginal people were killed and lost their identities the surviving members often feel lonely and low self esteem. They lost their identity and became the labors or servants, so they got poor education which affected their future generation (Bell, 2014). They also face legal problems, related to official documentations to prove their identity. They struggle to trust anyone easily and their search for own identity is still going on.



Respecting the engagement’s cultural form is important. Generalisation of communities and place is a serious breach of tradition for the aboriginals, so the workers have to be careful while dealing with those. The aboriginal women also have their own protocols related to the well being of their families and children.


Personal Knowledge

The sense of trust and equity must be developed through sharing information and understanding their culture (Wilson et al., 2016). The world view that the aboriginals hold is based on the relationship among tribes, family and community. The personal knowledge of place and space is layered.



Partnership can be informal or formal. Through partnership they develop sustainable relationship. They work together to ensure the well being of their children and family.



The process would give importance to ensuring cultural safety based on mutual learning. The process should be focused on the well being of the islanders. For a long period of time the process should continue, which consists achieving their life potential, working in partnership, ensuring their recruitment, development and achieving cultural competence.


Positive changes

The development should be ongoing and ensure positive changes. The local issues should be identified and positive changes must be enforced through various national policy guidelines (Brown et al., 205

  1. As the workers and the aboriginals have had different life experiences, misunderstandings may occur. The world has been experiencing many international conflicts among different communities; this might bring forward the enmities among the aboriginals while working with the workers. Workers often lack the cultural sensitivity and cross-cultural experience may affect the aboriginals (Herring et al., 2013). This might happen due to the misinterpretation and misunderstanding of what the aboriginals express.
  2. 3 work practices that you feel reflect a culturally safe work environment  for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people:
  3. Using indigenous narratives to communicate
  4. Cultural empathy should be created
  5. Code of conducts for the service professionals that can resolve problems and reach conciliation.
  6. “The early years learning Framework’ (EYLF) is developed to improve the children’s education (Littlefield et al., 2017). The local context is used while engaging the aboriginal children for teaching. The process is reciprocal and respectful. The “My time your place” framework ensures that the environment the mentors build is supported, safe and secure. The school age children develop their inter dependence, resilience and autonomy. They students respond to social, cultural responsibilities and grow respect towards diversity. The children develop responsibility for their physical and emotional well being. Through creativity, confidence, commitment, problem solving and effective communication they become and involved and confident learner.
  7. There are few signs that tell the individual islander that the environment is culturally safe, like the communication between the service professional and him. The policies, planning and activities encourage the individual aboriginal voice to participate. He is also encouraged to actively participate in the decision making. When he sees the professionals are recognizing his past and show respect to it. The negative impacts caused by the past government are being addressed by them. Such activities like the Sorry Day or NAIDOC week are being celebrated for promoting the aboriginal culture (Meekosha, Wannan & Shuttleworth, 2016). The most effective sign is the organization’s incorporating and embracing of aboriginal culture in every activity.
  8. The failure to build up a culturally safe workplace can have severe consequences. The aboriginal might feel racism towards him. They might feel unsafe I the working environment. Their pride for being and indigenous people might get affected by the cultural unsafe workplace. Their lack of confidence will lead to the anger and depression which might build a sense of revenge because they might feel that the age old suppression is getting repeated.
  9. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander: The aboriginals are the original inhabitants of the land of Australia. The outsider colonists came to the land and took away their properties and basic human rights. They have their own culturally rich and distinct identity bearing thousand of years’ history of our country.

Kinship/skin system: this basically represents the family structure and relationship of the aboriginals. In the clan or community the members engage in distinct responsibilities, roles and ceremonies based on this complex kinship system.

Stolen generation: The federal governments of the Country took away generations of children from the families of the aboriginals.

Dreamtime: This is the unique way that the aboriginal perceive the world. The dreamtime makes them believe that their ancestral spirits built everything on the earth.

  1. There are multiple laws that that the European settlers used to control the aboriginals. The laws are ‘Aboriginals Fire Arm Regulation Act 1840’, ‘Aboriginal Protection Act 1869’, ‘Aboriginal Protection Act 1869’ and ‘Half-Caste Act 1886’ (Watson, 2014).
  2. Culture bias is the practice of perceiving one’s culture by someone’s own cultural sense. This heavily focuses on assumption which might lead to wrong perception of other’s culture.

Cultural safety

  1. Several strategies can be adapted by the service professional or the organization in order to build a culturally appropriate work place. The professionals must be engaged in the activities with an open mind. They must gain some knowledge prior to the engagement about their cultural background. The verbal communication must be understood by other effectively but they must be careful about their non verbal communication. The diverse cultural people must be treated with a personal care.
  2. The verbal and nonverbal communication is understood by the children. They might feel lack of confidant by the attitude or lifestyle of the educator.
  3. Lack of reflection of the culturally aware narratives
  4. Not engaging in various cultures specific celebrations.
  5. The laws like “Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986”, “Racial Discrimination Act 1975”, “Equal Opportunity Act 2010” and “Fair Work Act 2009” works against the discrimination based on race, knowledge, color, religion and job opportunities(Capuano, 2016).
  6. The code of conduct will help the professionals to engage and develop in a culturally open and accepting environment where the culturally diverse children can build up their confidence, knowledge and identity. The code of conduct will make the professionals to fulfill their responsibilities towards the needy and provides an opportunity to improve the damages that our ancestors caused.
  1. The family system is being overlooked by Ann, as to deal with Melanie she only invited her mother and aunts and cousins were asked to wait outside. In the aboriginal family system everyone feels equally important and work together to resolve any problem within the family.
  2. Ann should have explained her about the paramedics before she encountered them. Other strategies would be making her visit the hospital and explain their work in a way that she would be able to connect.
  3. She got introduced to the paramedics at her grandfather’s death. Visiting the paramedics should have been a regular practice to keep them healthy. The lack of right knowledge was not shared to her at the right moment that created her fear.
  4. A core code in the ECA states that the partnerships with communities and families share responsibility to deal with children’s well being, learning and development. Ann could have managed the situation more effectively with the help of this statement.


Bell, A. (2014). Relating indigenous and settler identities: Beyond domination. Springer.

Brown, A., O'Shea, R. L., Mott, K., McBride, K. F., Lawson, T., & Jennings, G. L. (2015). A strategy for translating evidence into policy and practice to close the gap-developing essential service standards for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cardiovascular care. Heart, Lung and Circulation, 24(2), 119-125.

Capuano, A. (2016). Giving Meaning to'Social Origin'in International Labour Organization ('ILO') Conventions, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth):'Class' Discrimination and its Relevance to the Australian Context.

Capuano, A. (2016). Giving Meaning to'Social Origin'in International Labour Organization ('ILO') Conventions, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth):'Class' Discrimination and its Relevance to the Australian Context.

Herring, S., Spangaro, J., Lauw, M., & McNamara, L. (2013). The intersection of trauma, racism, and cultural competence in effective work with aboriginal people: Waiting for trust. Australian Social Work, 66(1), 104-117.

Hudec, P. (2013). Social Issues in Contemporary Australia: Indigenous People and the White Majority (Doctoral dissertation, Masarykova univerzita, Pedagogická fakulta). (2017). Chapter 4: Cultural safety and security: Tools to address lateral violence - Social Justice Report 2011 | Australian Human Rights Commission. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Sep. 2017].

Jackiewicz, S. (2015). Reviewing the Code of Ethics. Every Child, 21(1), 34.

Littlefield, L., Cavanagh, S., Knapp, R., & O’Grady, L. (2017). KidsMatter: Building the capacity of Australian primary schools and early childhood services to foster children’s social and emotional skills and promote children’s mental health. In Social and Emotional Learning in Australia and the Asia-Pacific (pp. 293-311). Springer Singapore.

Malinowski, B. (2015). The family among the Australian Aborigines: a sociological study (Vol. 1). Library of Alexandria.

Meekosha, H., Wannan, A., & Shuttleworth, R. (2016). The politics of diversity in Australia: extending the role of community practice. Politics, Power and Community Development, 139.

Pokhilko, O. L. (2016). Cross-Cultural Awareness.

Price, A. G. (2015). White settlers and native peoples. Cambridge University Press.

Watson, I. (2014). Aboriginal peoples, colonialism and international law: Raw law. Routledge.

Wilson, A. M., Kelly, J., Magarey, A., Jones, M., & Mackean, T. (2016). Working at the interface in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health: focussing on the individual health professional and their organisation as a means to address health equity. International journal for equity in health, 15(1), 187.


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