“Cultural safety cannot exist without Lateral Love” ~ Brian Butler

Cultural safety by delineation concerns the environs born out of interactive behaviours and perceptions based on individual reflexivity; meaning we all must have an understanding of our own personal culture, and of how our own personal cultural values impact upon others, particularly in regard to our interpretations, beliefs and subconscious reckoning as we make our way about in the world, regardless of race or ethnicity.

Cultural safety builds on the preceding notions of cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity and cultural competency moving firmly into the next stage with an emphasis on accountability. Ultimately cultural safety is something that is ongoing forever learning, our skills and abilities should be so attuned that throughout our personal and professional lives we are able to say, without a doubt, that we are upholding the principles of cultural safety and do so with the conviction that we respect the culture, knowledge, experience and obligations of all others in a respectful and dignified way.

True cultural safety will come about when each of us, as individuals is personally accountable for this learning, our own behaviour and our own personal cultural perspective position. A strong ethical base, steeped in moral standing that allows for healthy communication must be the underpinning of all of our interactions with others. By practicing this approach and by maintaining a continuous improvement attitude to our recognition of diversity both nationally and internationally will ensure our successful embracement of the views and difference concerning all of humanity.

Particularly in regard to Aboriginal and Islander (including the Torres Straits) peoples of Australia it is important for us all (both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples) working with and for our families and communities, in every area of service delivery, (be it health, education, housing, social, emotional or community development or any other field) for all interactions to be firmly rooted in cultural safety principles and to constantly reflect back on our original purpose, our personal statement of intent.

We all experience our own personal cultures in a way that subconsciously informs our values, belief systems and experiences, the breadth and depth of these influences differs from person to person, and also differs for individuals within the same cultural or family group.

By establishing environs built on cultural safety principles we will create the opportunity for a positive collective consciousness shift that will impact the way we approach, address, interpret, react and interact with individuals, our families and our communities. By actively participating in such a shift we will enable the negative colonialist impressed trend of preceding trans-generational and intergenerational trauma that has and continues to devastated so many of our families and communities to begin to heal and change, our future generations can have the opportunity to move forward in a healed society built on the firm foundations of self-determination embedded with an Aboriginal Terms of Reference (ATR).

Cultural Safety is a consciously built environ that is autonomous with Lateral Love & Spirit of Care for All Humankind.

© 2013 Nicola Butler Lateral Love Australia

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