Cultural Safety

Communities for Children Bendigo have made a commitment to ensuring that we increase the levels of cultural safety that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and children experience when they interact with our agencies or participate in our programs/activities. After consulting with the Bendigo District Aboriginal Cooperative (BDAC) and other key local stakeholders, we are developing a range of strategies to support workers/agencies to achieve this.

As a Communities for Children team, we share the belief that we all have a responsibility to educate ourselves about the impact Australia’s historical (and current) policies and practices have had, and continue to have, on the health and wellbeing of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people we work alongside.

C4C has a Cultural Safety Working group with representatives from a number of local organisations and agencies. To date, the group has initiated and supported the following initiatives:

  • Development and implementation of a Cultural Safety Self Reflection Tool across several organisations (the tool is based on the St. Luke’s Cultural Safety Self Reflection tool)
  • Supported the development of the NAIDOC Week Children’s Day, which was attended by over 400 children and their families in 2015 and 2016
  • Ensured that all workers employed by Communities for Children have a strong understanding and commitment to cultural safety and have undergone Cultural Safety self-reflection (which includes having an ongoing commitment to increasing their knowledge and awareness of cultural safety).

What are the Cultural Safety Self Reflection Sessions?

In 2013, in consultation with local stakeholders, C4C developed a Cultural Safety Self Reflection tool and self reflection sessions for agencies and workers. We are able to facilitate self reflection sessions based on the tool to early years organisations.

The aim of the self reflection sessions is to provide individual workers, teams and agencies/organisations with an opportunity to reflect on their own values and beliefs about cultural safety, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and Australian history. It also provides a series of prompts that can be used to initiate practical changes that, hopefully, will lead to an increase in cultural safety.

The self reflection sessions are 2 x 2hr sessions delivered a week apart (using a self reflection tool as a guide). Pre-reading is provided to participants and this reading is discussed in the sessions.

The self reflection sessions should be viewed as a starting point, not an end point. Hopefully it will prompt individual workers, teams and organisations/agencies to build on what they are already doing well and make a commitment to continue to make further positive changes. The goal is to ensure that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (and the ACCOs) we work alongside feel safer and more empowered by our presence in their lives.

If you or your organisation are interested in finding out more about the Cultural Safety Self Reflection sessions or you would like to run the sessions in your workplace please contact us:

John Bonnice
C4C Manager
p: 03 5440-1100 (Reception- Hargreaves St)
m: 0419330799

Geoff West
Family Harmony Program Manager – BDAC
p: 03 5442-4947 (Reception- BDAC)
m: 0418 173 559

Grace Priest
C4C Early Years Access Worker – based at BDAC
p: 03 5442-4947 (Reception- BDAC)