Cultural Safety

In Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health settings, clinical effectiveness is the end product of culturally-safe care. Attention to both individual practitioner and institutional dimensions is vital to ensure a medically-optimal outcome for Indigenous patients or clients. Becoming a culturally safe health care practitioner requires the development of a critical stance and a reflective practice. Such development is not straightforward; it is neither the gathering of discrete nuggets of knowledge, nor the acquisition of an acknowledged set of best practice modes of interaction.

Poche educators and researchers recognise the continuing challenge of translating the philosophical desire and the empirical support for critical thinking into pragmatic, pedagogical practice. The Poche Flinders team provide a range of cultural safety and awareness presentations to support the training of Indigenous and non-Indigenous health profession students, researchers and staff to develop into culturally safe health care professionals.


Having the Hard Conversations

A written 'Guide to Good Practice' and a series of videos collectively titled ‘Having the Hard Conversations’ have been produced as part of a National Senior Teaching Fellowship Activity - Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT Fellowship) undertaken by Professor Dennis McDermott in 2014 - 2015. Support for this Fellowship was provided by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. The views expressed in these presentations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. These represent examples of ongoing Poche Flinders team work in Cultural Safety.


Guide to Good Practice

Having the Hard Conversations: A guide to good practice in Indigenous health and cultural safety education is available as a pdf download.

Guide to Good Practice (PDF 967KB)


Having the Hard Conversations Videos

For copies of the Cultural Safety: Having the Hard Conversations videos please email Poche Flinders or Professor Dennis McDermott.

This series included short videos on:

01 Challenges

02 Cultural Safety

03 Power Imbalances

04 Self-Reflection

05 Listening

06 Mechanisms of Change


Resource Learning Outcomes and Discussion Questions are also available to go with the videos.

Video resource Learning Outcomes-Discussion Questions (PDF 207KB)


The Deconstruction Exercise

Another resource in current use is the ‘Deconstruction Exercise’. This teaching activity:

Aims to give non-Indigenous health profession students the ability to recognise language that is imbued with power imbalance, so as to avoid the perpetuation of racialised ways of interacting with Indigenous peoples in the health system. (Sjoberg and McDermott, p28)

Reference: The deconstruction exercise: An assessment tool for enhancing critical thinking in cultural safety education, David Sjoberg and Professor Dennis McDermott, International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies, Volume 9, Number 1, 2016, pp28 - 48

  (PDF 296KB)


Further Deconstruction Exercise related resources include:

Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME)

Slice of LIME Seminar Series Seminar 8

Teaching While Black – Navigating Race and Racism within Higher Education

Professor Dennis McDermott and David Sjoberg


Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM)

CATSINaM Video Resources - Cultural Safety Summit 2016 Presentation

Cultural Safety from policy and practice

Professor Dennis McDermott and David Sjoberg


Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS)

ICS Collaborative Learning Series

‘Deconstructing’ Racism: Strategies for Organisational Change

Professor Dennis McDermott and David Sjoberg