Cultural responsiveness is not a new conceptFeb 12, 2023
As the founder of Kultchafi, I have often been asked: Why Cultural Responsiveness and not just Cultural Safety?
To put it simply, Cultural Responsiveness UNDERPINS Cultural Safety. It makes it possible to embed true Cultural Safety in today's Australia, and to maintain it in an evolving and shifting environment.
But Cultural Responsiveness is not a new concept by any means. It has been around for years, and Kultchafi has been working on Cultural Responsiveness Training for decades, but with the recent global events it has taken on a new meaning and importance. People are now more aware of racism, cultural barriers and nuances, and the need to be culturally responsive. But what does that actually mean to an individual or organisation?
Being Culturally Responsive means being aware of and sensitive to the diverse cultural backgrounds of those you work with. It includes understanding and respecting different cultures, customs, and beliefs. It’s not enough to just be aware of other cultures – you need to be respectful and responsive to them too.
When I first started working on the streets of Sydney as a welfare officer, I had no idea what Cultural Responsiveness was, and definitely no idea of how important it was. I would go into, parks, dead-end streets, and even homes and interact with clients without taking their culture into account. I would treat everyone the same, regardless of their background or beliefs. I soon learned that this was not the right way to approach things.
I began to learn about different cultures and the customs that accompanied them. I started paying attention to how people behaved and interacted with one another. I noticed that there were certain things that I said and did that were offensive to my clients. I also realised that there were ways that I could better communicate with them and connect with them on a deeper level.
Being Culturally Responsive is not just about understanding different cultures – it’s about being willing to adapt your own behaviour in order to better connect with others. It’s about being respectful and humble enough to learn from others, even if you don’t share their background or beliefs. It’s about creating connections with people from all walks of life, regardless of where they come from or what they believe in.
Kultchafi delivers through a self-paced online learning package multi-accredited and award-winning Cultural Responsiveness Training. Find out more and enrol today.
Ara Harathunian, MD, Kultchafi
Find out about market-leading Kultchafi Cultural Responsiveness Training. It's multi-accredited by leading professional bodies including the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and the Australian Pharmacy College (APC). Suitable for any work sector and delivered online as self-paced learning.
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