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Policy Statements

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Culturally Safe and Responsive Care Statement

Cultural safety represents a key philosophical shift from providing a service regardless of difference to care that takes account of peoples’ unique needs. Cultural safety is central to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their relationships with the health system. Cultural safety describes a state, where people are enabled and feel they can access health care that suits their needs, are able to challenge personal or institutional racism (when they experience it), establish trust in services and expect effective, quality care.

It requires all people to undertake an ongoing process of self-reflection and cultural self-awareness and an acknowledgement of how these impact on interactions and service delivery. Critically, cultural safety does not necessarily require the study of any culture other than one’s own: it is essentially about being open-minded and flexible in attitudes towards others. Identifying what makes others different is simple – however, understanding our own culture and its influence on how we think, feel and behave is much more complex, and often goes unquestioned.

If Cultural Safety describes the state we are aiming to reach – safe, accessible, person-oriented and informed care – Cultural Responsiveness is the practice to enable it.



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Contact us:

ALIA House
Ground Floor, 9-11 Napier Close,
Deakin West, ACT 2600

PO Box 323, Deakin ACT 2600.



+61 2 6285 1010

This website was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health. The views expressed on the website do not necessarily represent the position of the Australian Government.