First Peoples Flags

Cultural Safety with Australia’s First Peoples

Improving cultural safety through healthcare governance

This initiative of Committix Pty Ltd aims to discuss the significance of cultural safety for Australian healthcare governance. Join this group for discussion and news at Facebook – Cultural Safety & Security. The header image mash-up for the FB group shows the flags from First Peoples Nations around the world.

An Australian definition of cultural safety

The following definition is referenced to Robyn Williams as cited by Maryann Bin-Sallik

Cultural safety is an environment that is spiritually, socially and emotionally safe, as well as physically safe for people; where there is no assault, challenge or denial of their identity, of who they are and what they need. It is about shared respect, shared meaning, shared knowledge and experience of learning together. Robyn Williams.

The first appearance of William’s definition of cultural safety appeared in 1999. Robyn Williams (Senior Lecturer and PhD student at Charles Darwin University, 2017 recipient of the Australian Health Promotion Association’s President’s Award) published a personal reflection on Cultural safety – what does it mean for our work practice? (1999, Northern Territory) in the context of tertiary education environments being safe for Indigenous people to enter into health and education disciplines.

Then, in 2003, Maryann Bin-Sallik AO (Descendant of the Kija people of the Turkey Creek area, Broome, NAIDOC 2016 Female Elder of the Year, and 2017 Officer of the Order of Australia) published Cultural Safety: Let’s Name It! (2003, Northern Territory) as a reflective description on cultural safety and Indigenous participation in the higher education sector. Bin-Sallik credited Williams with creating the above definition of cultural safety.

Australian Healthcare – Cultural Safety Articles

Jump to the journal article list where the phrases ‘cultural safety’ and ‘cultural security’ are prominently featured in the articles (Update #1 at 21 August 2019).

Publications by Committix Pty Ltd


Read  the annual publication – Australian Healthcare Governance and the Cultural Safety and Security of Australia’s First Peoples: An Annual Critique (No.1).

Download the full publication here.

Dr Mark J Lock is available to improve the cultural safety of your organisation’s governance processes by academic review, committee audit, and resource development. This involves:

  • finding your corporate governance documents and analysing them for vision and mission alignment,
  • constructing a governance map of the points and pathways in your organisation’s decision-making structure,
  • workshopping the meaning and nature of cultural safety for you, your staff, and your consumers,
  • providing academic reports to a publishable standard, and
  • developing a strategy and action plan to enable cultural safety through corporate governance.

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