February 2, 2022

5 Components of Cultural Safety

Five Components of Cultural Safety

Any workplace committed to;

  • Aboriginal specific outcomes,
  • Reconciliation,
  • Providing cultural awareness training or
  • Building relationships with Aboriginal People

must recognise and understand the importance of creating a Culturally Safe workplace.

In providing Aboriginal cultural awareness training and offering online Aboriginal cultural training through Aboriginal Insights, I recognise five components to Cultural Safety, three of which are internal and two are external.


1. Workplace Environment. Does your workplace environment include expressions of respect for Aboriginal people and cultures? Do Aboriginal people feel welcome in your workplace? Do employees have a deep understanding of Aboriginal cultural sensitivity? Do Aboriginal people feel comfortable about expressing their Aboriginal identity?

2. Workplace Attitudes. Have you addressed racism (direct and indirect), ignorance and unconscious bias on the part of your employees? What is your workplace culture? What have you done to influence this culture? Is there ample Aboriginal cultural awareness training provided, whether in person or online – through platforms like Aboriginal Insights? Is there respect for Aboriginal people and cultures? *** This is your biggest risk to your reputation. The best way to influence this is by committing to ongoing Aboriginal cultural training for your employees in the same way that you commit to ongoing training and development in the spaces of safety and legal compliance.

3. Workplaces Policies, processes, and rules. Do these recognise and respond to cultural differences? E.g. cultural leave, bereavement leave, interview processes, and clashes between cultural responsibilities and workplace expectations.


4. Public strategies, statements, plans. Do you have executive support for these? Do your stakeholders know about them? Do you implement them? Are they just fake marketing (no intent or resources behind them)? Do your employees know about your Aboriginal specific commitments (many workplaces with a Reconciliation Action Plan, including providing Aboriginal Cultural Awareness training, have employees that have never heard of or read the document)?

5. Your relationship and respect with your Aboriginal stakeholders as determined by them. How are you perceived by your Aboriginal stakeholders? Have you followed through with your promises? Have you listened? Have you acted in response to what you have been advised by your Aboriginal stakeholders? Have you allocated respectful resources to building respect and relationships? Have you taken the time to go through Aboriginal Cultural Awareness training materials in depth? Have you allowed your Aboriginal stakeholders to hold you accountable? Have you established Partnerships with Aboriginal stakeholders? Have you delivered on your commitments?

No Aboriginal person wants to work anywhere that is culturally unsafe. No Aboriginal person wants to engage with a workplace that is not genuine about their commitments.

Any workplace committed to Aboriginal specific outcomes, Reconciliation, and relationships with Aboriginal stakeholders must be committed to creating a Culturally Safe & Responsive Workplace.

My cultural awareness training options on Aboriginal Insights support workplaces to better understand Cultural Safety.

Jolleen Hicks

jolleen hicks blog articles featured on aboriginal insights

Learn more about Cultural Safety and how it can be delivered to your organisation by way workshop in-person or online facilitated by our founder, Jolleen Hicks. Inquire today at info@aboriginalinsights.com.au

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