Showing posts with label racism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label racism. Show all posts

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Yet another minister compromises the Morrison Coalition Government


On becoming Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, employing the Trump doctrine of appointing foxes to guard hen houses, retained Northern Territory Nationals Senator Nigel Scullion as Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

A politician with a long history of voting for the oppressive Intervention in the Northern Territory and the introduction of cashless welfare cards into Aboriginal communities, as well as unsuccessfully voting to weaken protections in the Racial Discrimination Act and voting against changing the date of Australia Day.

As far back as 2006 he voted for the the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment Bill which was seen as making significant changes to the existing land rights legislation which has the potential to compromise the rights and interests of Indigenous people living inthe Northern Territory.

This is the result.....

The Guardian, 2 November 2018:

The Indigenous affairs minister, Nigel Scullion, has used money earmarked for alleviating Indigenous disadvantage to fund a fishing industry lobby group he used to chair.

He approved a grant of $150,000 to the Northern Territory Seafood Council so it could argue how it would be negatively affected by land claims – claims he opposed during his time in the role.

Under the NT Land Rights Act, those who consider a land claim would have a negative impact on their business or personal interests can argue a “detriment” case about how their future access to income, land or water would suffer if the claim were approved.

A group of six land claims in the NT have been held up – some by almost 30 years – by unresolved detriment issues.

Scullion chaired the NTSC from 1994 to 2001, and gave statements or appeared in person to argue detriment in at least two of the claims.

As minister he approved grants of $150,000 to the NTSC, $170,000 to the NT Amateur Fishermen’s Association, and $165,000 to the NT Cattlemen’s Association for “legal fees, effectively … to put forward a case of detriment to the land commissioner”, as he told a Senate hearing last week.

The money was taken from the $4.9bn Indigenous advancement strategy, which is supposed to “improve the way the government does business with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, to ensure funding actually achieves outcomes” – according to the government’s website.

Parties who wish to lodge detriment claims are able to seek financial support from the Attorney General’s Department.......

This latest revelation follows close on the heels of this disastrous vote in the Senate.

NT News, 22 October 2018:


CALLS for Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion to resign have been graffitied on his Darwin office.

It comes after the Territory Senator voted for a widely-condemned One Nation motion last week declaring “It’s OK to be white”.

The motion, brought forward by Pauline Hanson, also claimed “anti-white” racism was on the rise in Australia.

The phrases have been used by far-right groups to stoke racial division.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Abbott Booted Out Of Borroloola



IndigenousX, 27 September 2018:

Tony Abbott, the Special Envoy that nobody asked for and nobody wants, appears to have been unceremoniously booted from a school meeting in Borroloola NT, on his first trip to remote communities in his new role.

The community was angered by Abbott’s hypocrisy, cutting millions from community based services while he was the ‘Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs’, and his vision for assimilation through education and punitive policies linking attendance rates to welfare payments.

Parents, Elders and school council members challenged Abbott over his comments that Aboriginal children should not only speak English first, but ‘think’ in English too, and attempts to force failed ‘direct instruction’ policies on the school.

Gadrian Hoosan, a parent and school council member told Abbott he ‘was not welcome in the community since intervention policies ripped out community funding leaving residents worse off, while denying much needed new housing and basic services.’

‘He looked like he couldn’t wait to get out of there when we all started bailing up on him. He picked the wrong community to try and bully. We have a strong school here and strong families. He’ll be having nightmares tonight. We told him we don’t want him as our envoy.”

Jack Green, an Elder and bilingual education advocate from Borroloola said,
“Tony Abbott says he wants Aboriginal culture and language out of our schools but we know these things are what keep our kids and our communities strong and healthy. Abbott doesn’t represent our community or Aboriginal people – he’s not our envoy!

As Elders and educators we know what is best for our children. Its time he stepped back, stood down and let us speak for ourselves.”

This is the latest criticism of PM Scott Morrison’s bewildering and insulting decision to make Tony Abbott a ‘Special Envoy to the PM on Indigenous Affairs’ rather than explore options to promote Indigenous self-determination, enter into a Treaty/Makarrata, push for an Indigenous voice to parliament, or instigate a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Quotes of the Week


“There are some people who seem to find it a very funny circumstance that last week, in full daylight, and in a main street of Cooktown, two black troopers, with their clothes in the same condition as those of a clumsy butcher’s apprentice, fresh from the shambles, exhibited a naked black girl, not twelve years old, as their newly caught prize. This young slave, taken by force . . . has since been transferred, either for payment or as a gift, to a citizen in this town, whose property she has now become. What were the circumstances that attended, or immediately followed, her capture we do not know, nor do we very much care to inquire ...”  [ Journalist & author Carl Feilberg writing in the Cooktown Courier in January 1877 ]


“Adding a new level of fear and uncertainty onto that with the findings coming out of a royal commission is going to harm the community as well as the industry,”  [CEO Clarence Village Ltd Duncan McKimm acting as an apologist for the aged care industry in The Daily Examiner ahead of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety]


Tuesday, 21 August 2018

William Fraser Anning - an ugly aspect of far-right politics in Australia


The Sydney Morning Herald, Fraser Anning

William Fraser Anning then a member of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party was declared elected to the Australian Senate on 10 November 2017, as a replacement for the recently disqualified dual citizen Malcolm Ieuan Roberts.

Less than seven months later he had joined Katter’s Australian Party.

In the 2016 general election Anning had received a grand total of 19 votes (59 if transferred votes are counted) out of a possible 2.72 million Queensland ballots cast. The Queensland electorate had firmly rejected him.

Hansard shows that at 17:06pm on Wednesday 14 August 2018, nine months after taking up his seat, Anning made his formal First Speech on the floor of the Senate.

This is how The Sydney Morning Herald reported this speech on 14 August 2018:

Queensland senator Fraser Anning has praised the White Australia Policy and called for a plebiscite as "the final solution to the immigration problem" in the most inflammatory maiden speech to an Australian Parliament since One Nation leader Pauline Hanson's in 1996.

The Katter's Australian Party senator, formerly of One Nation, used his first speech to the Senate on Tuesday to lament the demise of "our predominantly European identity" of the 1950s and '60s.


The Guardian’s opinion piece on 15 August 2018 pointed out the dangers before us:

Fraser Anning is in the parliament by accident. Having fluked his way into the Senate chamber because One Nation needed a replacement for Malcolm Roberts, he now wants your attention, and judging by his performance in the Senate on Tuesday night, he doesn’t care what lines he crosses to get it.

What we are witnessing in national politics is the latest manifestation of Australia’s cultural cringe. Far right political operatives, and the media voices prepared to give them succour, are importing the nationalist debates that have sprung up in the shadow of the global financial crisis – the biggest economic dislocation since the great depression.

We are building our own tinder box, bit by bit.

Debates about race, and sovereignty, and immigration have caught fire elsewhere because of deep resentments felt by the losers of globalisation. Australia didn’t suffer the biting effects of the global financial crisis, and the prolonged economic downturn that followed it. By comparison to the visceral experiences elsewhere, in this country we experienced a chilly, stiff breeze.

Notwithstanding these facts, we are importing the outrage consciousness that exists elsewhere, validating it, willingly projecting an alternate reality onto our own domestic circumstances as a grotesque form of entertainment.

We are building our own tinder box, bit by bit.

This would be pathetic. Almost laughable. Except in terms of race and politics, we are now in the most explosive period we’ve been in since John Howard sailed into choppy waters with his feelings on Asian immigration in the 1980s.

There is nothing to laugh about. Right now, there are all the ingredients of a perfect storm.

The first ingredient is a fractured bunch of far-right leaning political voices in mortal competition with one another for votes. The last 24 hours has been a public competition between Anning, and his new running mate Bob Katter, and One Nation, for attention. Anning and Katter apparently want to establish a new beach head, charting territory where Pauline won’t follow. Just let that happy thought settle on you for a minute or two.

The second ingredient is a polity profoundly disaffected by the repeated failings and default narcissism of Australia’s major party politics, frustrated by their congested cities and low wages growth and by governments who spent more time fighting their fractured internals than navigating the future. The third is a disrupted media landscape where conflict – the louder and more notorious the better – is hard currency.

Fraser Anning used his first speech to parliament to spin his own obscurity into notoriety: to try on a troll suit in full public view.

The Monthly spoke of  Anning as "unrepresentative", "accidental swill" on 15 August 2018:

Fraser Anning’s execrable first speech in the Senate yesterday, proposing a “final solution” on Muslim immigration, marks a new low for Australian politics, but assuredly not for long. Things are likely to get worse before they get better, as a bunch of illegitimate right-wing nobodies in the Senate compete for race-hate shock value in the lead-up to the next election. The combination of a double dissolution in 2016 and the citizenship crisis has burdened us with the least representative Senate in living memory. The crossbench is populated by senators who won on the donkey vote, defected, were elected on a countback or were hand-picked mid-term and are yet to face the people. Most face electoral oblivion in 2019. We are used to hearing of “unrepresentative swill” in the Senate, where one vote, one value has never applied, but a record number of our current senators literally don’t deserve to be there. Call them accidental swill.

Anning’s speech, in which he called for a return to the White Australia policy, did not come out of the blue. We have been building up to this steadily. From Pauline Hanson’s return to parliament, to Tony Abbott’s dog-whistling on immigration policy, to Peter Dutton’s attacks on “African gangs”, to Andrew Bolt’s comments about Chinese, Cambodian, Indian and Jewish communities“changing our culture”, to Sky News airing an interview with neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell, the trend is clear: we are sliding ever-faster down a slippery slope towards an ugly, divisive race-card election.

Although his formal first speech was somewhat tardy, according to They Vote For You Anning has been busy voting strongly in support of:


On 14 August 2018 lawyer Richard McGilvray, an adviser to Senator Anning, resigned his position in protest.

Posting on Linkedin that: "I do not condone SenatorAnning's speech. His reference to 'the Final Solution' was not something I had seen, heard of, or discussed prior to his remarks last night and as a consequence, within hours of Senator Anning's speech, I resigned my position effective immediately. I'd like to thank many of you for your messages of support and encouragement this morning."

It is understood that the adviser who drafted Anning's First Speech was Richard Howard, who was formerly a staffer for One Nation's Malcolm Roberts and Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm.

As is to be expected Anning's speech has been fact checked and found to contain numerous errors.

To date, Senator Anning has not issued an apology for elements of that speech.


Saturday, 11 August 2018

Tweet of the Week



Saturday, 23 June 2018

US President Donald Trump takes a well-deserved hit in the cojones


This little girl couldn't fight back against the full weight of Donald J. Trump's cruel racism.

Time magazine cover for 2 July 2018 issue

Until an American late night show expressed its opinion...........




If only real life delivered such swift justice for little children.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

The journey towards a name change for Coutts Crossing begins.....


In November 1847 Clarence Valley grazier Thomas Coutts disgruntled by what he thought was a failure of local authority to act on his complaints, angry that his cattle herd had diminished over the space of eight years allegedly due to cattle theft and irritated at the size of his wages bill - all of which he blamed on local Aboriginal family groups living on 'his' property - decided to take action.

According to media reports at the time it soon became common knowledge that Coutts "had poisoned some aborigines" and this was eventually reported to the Commissioner of Crown Lands who, after visiting the group who had been given poisoned flour, hearing their account, arrested Thomas Coutts based on an affidavit sworn by one of his servants. 



One hundred and seventy year later on13 June 2018 The Daily Examiner reported:

Coutts Crossing could have two names and a memorial to the 23 Aboriginal people murdered by the man the town is named after, following a meeting called to discuss proposals to rename the village.

Prospects for a name change for the village have gathered pace since Daily Examiner indigenous columnist Janelle Brown’s article two weeks ago detailed how colonial settler Thomas Coutts murdered 23 Aboriginal people with arsenic-laced flour he gave as payment for work on his property at Kangaroo Creek in 1848.

Yesterday, about 40 people – indigenous and European – met at the Gurehlgam Centre in Grafton to discuss the next steps in proposing a name change for the village. The meeting did not produce formal resolutions, but the debate uncovered key areas to work on.

These included a proposal to include a traditional twin name for the village and to build a memorial in the village for the victims of the atrocity.

“I didn’t know I would get the amount of kick back from the article,” said Ms Brown, who led the meeting.

“But it’s good. It’s time to have these conversations and look at things like a name change for Coutts Crossing.

“What happened at Kangaroo Creek was a horrendous thing and not good for the Clarence Valley.

“It’s not good for a town to be named after a mass murderer.”

She said research into Gumbaynggir language revealed the original name for the area had been Daam Miirlarl, which meant a special place for yams.

However, she was reluctant to push this name as an alternative until there was further discussion among indigenous people about it.

Coutts Crossing resident Cr Greg Clancy said yesterday’s meeting was an initial step to move toward a name change.

“It’s not something that is going to happen next week,” he said.

Cr Clancy also made an apology for the deputy mayor Jason Kingsley, who was also the council’s delegate to the Aboriginal Consultative Committee. He said working through the council committee could be the best way to bring the push for a name change to the council.

Cr Clancy said the work of local historian and environmentalist John Edwards left no doubt Thomas Coutts murdered the 23 Gumbaynggir people with poisoned flour.

“In his book The History of the Coutts Crossing and Nymboida Areas, the chapter on the Kangaroo Creek massacre has all the transcripts from the court case,” he said.

“Its evidence is conclusive, but the case could not go ahead because the court at the time could not hear evidence from Aboriginal witnesses.”

The current owner of the property on which the massacre occurred, John Maxwell, had nothing positive to say about the original owner.

“What he did was cynical beyond belief,” Mr Maxwell said. “To poison 6kg of flour and give it to people, knowing they would take it home and kill a huge number more of their family, is too terrible to consider.”….

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

NSW Bar Association: “As members of the legal profession, we know indigenous Australians, proportionately, are the most incarcerated on earth. This diminishes us as a nation.”


The Australian, 29 March 2018, p.6:

As members of the legal profession, we know indigenous Australians, proportionately, are the most incarcerated on earth. This diminishes us as a nation.
Sovereignty and dispossession, recognition and representation of interests: they are different facets of the same problem. It is something that we, as lawyers, have a duty to help solve. It is because of this duty that the legal profession welcomed the government’s reference to the Australian Law Reform Commission to examine, among other issues, rates of incarceration for the indigenous.

The Pathways to Justice report of the ALRC represents a comprehensive blueprint to address the shameful over-representation of indigenous people in our prisons. Swift and decisive action is required from commonwealth, state and territory governments to ensure its recommendations are implemented.

ALRC recommendations relating to sentencing and bail regimes, the repeal of mandatory sentencing laws, an effective justice reinvestment framework, culturally appropriate community-based sentencing options, and so on, are all aimed at how substantive, not just formal, equality before the law can be achieved for indigenous people. All recommendations are supported by the NSW Bar Association as important initiatives which will contribute to addressing Aboriginal incarceration rates.

The NSW Bar is pleased the ALRC supports establishment of indigenous sentencing courts including the NSW Walama Court. The Walama Court is critical in reducing indigenous incarceration. The model involves community participation and greater supervision, resulting in reduced recidivism and increased compliance with court orders to better protect the community. It is not a “soft on crime” initiative but rather a more effective manner to supervise offenders post-sentence which would enhance rehabilitation and prevent re-offending.
At this stage the NSW government has not allocated funds to establish the Walama Court in the 2018-19 financial year, despite the fact it would have long-term economic cost savings for NSW as fewer indigenous people will be imprisoned and rates of recidivism would be reduced…..

Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Pathways to Justice–Inquiry into the Incarceration Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ALRC Report 133) Final Report, published on 28 March 2018.



Thursday, 29 March 2018

Mainstream media continues to amplify racist dog whistles in 2018


In September 2017 the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) published the new Code of Conduct for Nurses and Code of Conduct for Midwives. The codes took effect for all nurses and midwives in Australia on 1 March 2018.


The new codes for nurses and midwives can be found here.

These codes passed without much comment until far-right Senator Cory Bernardi began to bay about “political correctness” on 31 January 2018 and claim that Nurses must acknowledge white privilege and voice this acknowledgment if asked.

According to ABC Media Watch he was followed by the Murdoch media running with this blatant dog whistle, followed by Andrew Bolt, Peta Credlin and various radio shock jocks.

Misleading media coverage culminating in a truly appalling piece of journalism by Channel 7 which elicited this response…………..

Luke Pearson writing at @IndigenousX on 24 March 2018:


“BUT FIRST TONIGHT, THE CONTENTIOUS NEW CODE TELLING NURSES TO SAY ‘SORRY FOR BEING WHITE’ WHEN TREATING THEIR INDIGENOUS PATIENTS..

That’s how Today Tonight Adelaide began last night.
It continued:

“Now, it’s the latest in a string of politically correct changes for the health industry, but this one has led to calls for the Nursing Board boss to resign.”

It was followed by a five minute story with the new code being condemned by someone you’ve probably never heard of, Graeme Haycroft, explaining that: “According to how the code is written, the white nurse would come in and say, ‘before I deal with you, I have to acknowledge to you that I have certain privileges that you don’t have” followed by Cory Bernardi calling it divisive.

It goes on in this vein for a full five minutes before it cuts back to the presenter, who finally says, “The Nursing and Midwifery Board has told us that the code was drafted in consultation with Aboriginal groups and has been taken out of context as it’s not a requirement for health workers to declare or apologise for white privilege”.

And just to reinforce that point, the entire premise for the segment was false. There is no requirement for nurses to apologise for being white, which would be very awkward for the more the more than 1500 Indigenous nurses across Australia, and the countless others who also aren’t white to begin with. But, even for the nurses who are – THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT FOR THEM TO APOLOGISE FOR BEING WHITE.

So, why on Earth would Today Tonight run such a story?

Why would they base a story off the demonstrably false allegations of this Graeme Haycroft person?

To answer that, it might useful to cut back to a 2005 Sydney Morning Herald story about Mr Haycroft:

“A member of the National Party and the H.R. Nicholls Society, he (Mr Haycroft) boasts that, because of a tussle he had with the Australian Workers Union 15 years ago, the union does not have a single member shearing sheep in south-western Queensland today.

Now he runs a labour hire firm with a thriving sideline in moving small-business employees off awards and collective agreements and onto the Federal Government’s preferred individual contracts, Australian Workplace Agreements.

…Mr Haycroft’s business stands out because he is targeting lower-skilled, lower-paid workers, often with poor English – the people unions say have much to fear from individual contracts.”

Cut back to 2018, and Graeme Haycroft now runs the Nurses Professional Association of Queensland, which promotes itself as an alternative to the Qld Nurses Union.

So, a man with a long history of fighting Unions, who ‘saved’ the mushroom farming business by showing businesses how to move “small-business employees off awards and collective agreements and onto the Federal Government’s preferred individual contracts, Australian Workplace Agreements.”

According to the 2005 article, “Mr Haycroft said workers had been more than happy to sign on, most with their penalty rates, holiday pay and other conditions being rolled into a flat rate.”

“However, [there is always a ‘however’], Mr Haycroft was stripped of his preferred provider status with the Office of the Employment Advocate on Thursday, after a Sydney picker, Carmen Walacz Vel Walewska, said she was sacked after she contacted the Australian Workers Union for advice on AWAs.”

With that track record, it’s hard to imagine why nurses would want to leave their current union in favour of his ‘professional association’.

It seems as though, once again, Indigenous people have become a political football and a convenient scapegoat for issues that have nothing to do with us.

Queensland has a long history of political success found through anti-Aboriginal sentiment, so what better way to undermine a Union and recruit new members to a professional association than to accuse the Union of ‘racism against white people’ and ‘political correctness gone made’ by spreading the blatantly false and misleading accusation that white nurses now have to apologise to Aboriginal people for being white?

And just like Dick Smith’s anti-immigration campaign, Blair Cottrell’s anti-African ‘community safety group’, and Prue McSween’s call for a new Stolen Generation, it seems Channel 7 is always more than happy to ignore the facts and sensationalise issues about race and racism.

There is always one more thing.

We, and others, will soon publish articles explaining what the Code of Conduct actually calls for, and explain why cultural competence and cultural safety are important (editor’s note: we did, here’s one of them), but I can’t help but be reminded of this quote from Toni Morrison:
“The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing.”

So, instead of working on the very real business of ensuring best practice within the nursing industry, our Indigenous experts in this area will have to take a few days away from this important work to explain that no one is asking for white nurses to apologise for being white.
Just like we have to explain that not all Aboriginal parents abuse their children, or that we don’t want to steal white people’s backyards, or that we had (and have) science, or that Australia wasn’t Terra Nullius, or, as Malcolm Turnbull suggested last year, that acknowledging Indigenous history and addressing the issue of colonial statues and place names across Australia is not a “Stalinist exercise of trying to wipe out or obliterate or blank out parts of our history”.

So long as Australian media and politics finds value, profit and opportunity in promoting racism, there will always be one more thing.

So, I might as well clear up a few others while I’m here, and empty a few more buckets out of the endless ocean of racist misinformation.

Child abuse isn’t a ‘cultural’ thing.

Police are not scared to arrest Aboriginal people out of fear of being called racist.

We don’t get free houses.

Aboriginal people using white ochre on their faces in dance and ceremony is not the same thing as white people dressing up in blackface.

We don’t get free university.

The Voice to Parliament is not a third chamber of parliament.

We are not the problem.

Anything else?

We aren’t vampires?

We don’t shoot laser beams out of our eyes?

We aren’t secretly developing a perpetual motion machine that runs on white tears?

I’m sure I, and countless others, will undoubtedly need to keep adding to this list because, as Toni Morrison tells us, there will always be one more thing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, Response to Media Watch, 23 March 2018, excerpt:

 Do nurses under the new code have to announce their ‘white privilege’ before treating indigenous patients?
It is not a requirement of the codes of conduct for nurses and midwives to announce or apologise for white privilege. Any claim that nurses and midwives need to announce or apologise for white privilege is completely untrue. The recent criticisms from Mr Haycroft are based on completely untrue statements. The requirements for nurses when working with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples are clearly outlined in section 3.1 of the code.

Are nurses encouraged to announce their ‘white privilege’ before treating indigenous patients?
No.

Is there any requirement to acknowledge or announce ‘white privilege’ before treating a patient?
No.

Can a nurse be sacked for NOT declaring or addressing their ‘white privilege’ to a patient?
No.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUSTRALIAN NURSING AND MIDWIFERY FEDERATION, AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF NURSING, AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF MIDWIVES AND CONGRESS OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER NURSES AND MIDWIVES JOINT STATEMENT, 23 March 2018:
 In response to Graeme Haycroft’s recent comments, we welcome the opportunity to provide further information on how important cultural safety is for improving health outcomes and experiences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

 It is clear from the 2018 Closing the Gap Report tabled by Prime Minister Turnbull in February 2018 that Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples still experience poorer health outcomes than non-Indigenous Australians. It is well understood these inequities are a result of the colonisation process and the many discriminatory policies to which Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australians were subjected to, and the ongoing experience of discrimination today.

All healthcare leaders and health professionals have a role to play in closing the gap.
The approach the NMBA has taken for nurses and midwives (the largest workforce in the healthcare system) by setting expectations around culturally safe practice, reflects the current expectations of governments to provide a culturally safe health system. (For more information please see the COAG Health Council 4 August 2017 Communiqué).

Culturally safe and respectful practice is not a new concept. Nurses and midwives are expected to engage with all people as individuals in a culturally safe and respectful way, foster open, honest and compassionate professional relationships, and adhere to their obligations about privacy and confidentiality.

Many health services already provide cultural safety training for their staff. Cultural safety is about the person who is providing care reflecting on their own assumptions and culture in order to work in a genuine partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Nurses and midwives have always had a responsibility to provide care that contributes to the best possible outcome for the person/woman they are caring for. They need to work in partnership with that person/woman to do so. The principle of cultural safety in the new Code of conduct for nurses and Code of conduct for midwives (the codes) provides simple, common sense guidance on how to work in a partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The codes do not require nurses or midwives to declare or apologise for white privilege.

The guidance around cultural safety in the codes sets out clearly the behaviours that are expected of nurses and midwives, and the standard of conduct that patients and their families can expect. It is vital guidance for improving health outcomes and experiences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

The codes were developed through an evidence-based and extensive consultation process conducted over a two-year period. Their development included literature reviews to ensure they were based on the best available international and Australian evidence, as well as an analysis of complaints about the conduct of nurses and midwives to ensure they were meeting the public’s needs.

The consultation and input from the public and professions included working groups, focus groups and preliminary and public consultation. The public consultation phase included a campaign to encourage nurses and midwives to provide feedback.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, the Australian College of Nursing, the Australian College of Midwives and the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives all participated in each stage of the development and consultation of the new codes. The organisations strongly support the guidance around cultural safety in the codes for nurses and midwives.

Lynette Cusack Chair Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
Ann Kinnear CEO Australian College of Midwives (ACM)
Kylie Ward CEO Australian College of Nursing (ACN)
Janine Mohamed CEO Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives
Annie Butler A/Federal Secretary Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation