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Reflective practice

What's the influence of your cultural identity when caring for First Peoples? Let's explore the importance of reflective practice.
various photos of mixed cultures with one photo held in a hand
© Griffith University & ABSTARR Consulting (Audio) / Audio used with permission from Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI)

What’s the influence of your own cultural identity when caring for First Peoples?

Delivering cultural safety requires us to learn about our true selves, through a process of reflection.

Listen to Professor Gregory Phillips explain.

Have you ever stopped to consider how your own values and beliefs impact on the way you interact with clients and families?

  • What concepts, conversations and situations are you uncomfortable with?
  • In what ways might you be contributing to a social system that privileges some populations over others?

Listen to Professor Roianne West discuss the link between clinical and cultural safety.

Odette Best (2014, p. 70) lists the following strategies to help develop cultural safety capabilities. How many of these are you comfortable with and/or doing already?

  • Reflect on your own practice
  • Seek to minimise power differentials
  • Engage in discourse with the client
  • Undertake a process of decolonisation
  • Ensure that you do not diminish, demean or disempower others through your actions

Undertaking a process of decolonisation requires us to challenge the effects of colonisation and advocate for the self-determination of First Peoples (Best, 2014, p. 243).

Robin DiAngelo, a white woman and American anti-racism educator inspires our commitment to ongoing reflection with the following words:

To be a little less white is to be less defensive, less arrogant, less certain that I know everything I need to know and my learning is finished. Listen more, believe more, have humility, have racial humility, pay attention. People of colour are telling us what they need, we need to listen (Kelsey-Sugg & Fegan, 2018).

Your task

How does a health care service provider’s cultural worldview and values have the potential to impact on the quality of client care? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Kelsey-Sugg, A., & Fegan, S. (2018). Robin DiAngelo on why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism. Late Night News.

Best, O., & Fredericks, B. (Eds.). (2017). Yatdjuligin: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nursing and Midwifery Care. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

© Griffith University & ABSTARR Consulting (Audio) / Audio used with permission from Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI)
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Safer Healthcare for Australia's First Peoples

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