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Nola Turner-Jensen’s Research on Cultural Safety

Nola Turner-Jensen’s Research on Cultural Safety

Insights from BSI’s Future Learning Podcast

In this thought-provoking video, the seventh in our Future Learning Series on DEI, we explore cultural safety. We focus on the workplace from the perspective of First Nations employees. Our guest, Aunty Nola Turner-Jensen, shares insights from her research in Victoria. She interviews Aboriginal staff to understand their experiences and needs for cultural safety at work. This discussion is vital for anyone wanting to foster an inclusive and respectful workplace. It aims to ensure First Nations perspectives are acknowledged, and Indigenous people can then feel a sense of cultural safety and belonging.

If you are just joining us, feel free to check out the first video.

The Significance of Cultural Safety: Findings from Statewide Research

Nola's research aimed to define what cultural safety means to Aboriginal employees and to identify their needs within the workplace. The findings revealed a strong desire for acknowledgment of colonisation's historical and ongoing impacts. This colonisation has created significant generational trauma. It has also caused disruption for Indigenous people. This acknowledgment is crucial for creating an environment where First Nations employees feel understood and respected.

Challenges in Achieving Cultural Safety: Lack of Understanding and Acknowledgment

One of the major challenges highlighted by the research is the general lack of understanding among non-Indigenous staff about the history, and unique journey of First Nations peoples. Many Aboriginal employees feel that they must continually educate their colleagues about their culture and history, which is not officially part of their job roles. This constant need to educate and perform emotional labour for non-indigenous team members can be extremely taxing and a constant reminder of “otherness”. Therefore, teams need to be educated to consider this in how they engage with other First Nations team members.

Recommendations for Improving Cultural Safety: Learning Local Aboriginal History

A key recommendation from Nola’s research is for organisations to incorporate local Aboriginal history into their regular training and policies. This initiative should not be a single training event, but an ongoing part of employee education. Understanding the pre-colonial history of the area where a business operates can foster greater respect and acknowledgment of Aboriginal heritage and contributions.

Implementing Systemic Changes

Nola’s research suggests that integrating Aboriginal perspectives and knowledge into business practices can be highly beneficial. This involves viewing local First Nations communities not only as stakeholders, but as valuable contributors to business and economic systems. By including and respecting these perspectives, teams can better support cultural safety.

Conclusion: A Call to Action for Meaningful Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Integration

Nola’s comprehensive research sheds light on the critical need for cultural safety in the workplace and provides practical recommendations for improvement. You may like to reflect on how your own team can implement these strategies to improve the work environment for Aboriginal employees and enhance overall workplace culture.
Tune in to our next episode, where we gain deeper insights into creating a culturally safe and inclusive workplace, respecting and honouring the diverse histories and experiences of all employees.

Watch the full podcast episode on Apple or Spotify.

Learn more about how BSI digital can help you with your Diversity and Inclusion learning needs - get in contact with one of our team.

Stay tuned for more on the next video of BSI’s Future Learning Podcast series.
Thank you for tuning in!

Simon, Kala, and the BSI Team