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Posted on 21 Oct 2019
Consumer engagement
Patience experience and outcomes
Safety cultures

Were you lucky enough to grab a ticket for GIANT STEPS 2019?

As we countdown to Safer Care Victoria's first healthcare quality and safety conference (30 days to go!) we got chatting to one of our guest speakers, Ben Gorrie, about what you can expect from his #GiantSteps19 session on cultural safety in healthcare.

New to cultural safety?

A commonly used definition of cultural safety is: an environment that is spiritually, socially and emotionally safe, as well as physically safe for people; where there is no assault challenge or denial of their identity, of who they are and what they need.

Meet Ben Gorrie

Photo of Ben Gorrie

Ben's family orignate from the Kurnai/Gunai people of East Gippsland, he's a registered nurse and currently Victorian Director of the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM).

Q. You’re joining us at GIANT STEPS 2019 to present on cultural safety in healthcare. Can you tell us a bit about what we will learn at your session?

People will hopefully get a better understanding of what cultural safety is, why it’s important in health services across Victoria and how it can be translated directly into better patient outcomes.
Q. What does the term ‘cultural safety’ mean to you?

People who practice in a culturally safe way have a critical understanding of the power difference between the dominant and the non-dominant culture - and how this affects the way that health services are delivered, and how those services are received by individuals. 
Q. How did you first get involved with the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM)?

I first joined CATSINaM in 2005 as a student member. 

Having role models to learn from and the networking that is given when you are part of CATSINaM has helped me greatly to graduate and throughout my career. 

I am extremely fortunate to be on the board of directors since 2015 as this now helps me shape the strategic direction of CATSINaM and continue working for our people.
Q. Do you feel that we are making progress towards closing the gaps in healthcare between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians?

The progress is very slow, but it is progress. CATSINaM, despite being a small organisation, has really made a huge difference to the Australian health care system, but there is always more to be done. 
Q. What are some practical steps we can all take to improve cultural safety?

I would say to be acutely aware of the impact that both implicit and explicit bias has in health service delivery.  Avoid the explicit bias and undertake some reflection to understand what drives your implicit bias.

Catch more from Ben at GIANT STEPS 2019 on 21 - 22 November.

Page last updated: 21 Oct 2019