The Importance of Cultural Safety Programs in ensuring a Culturally Competent Society

Cultural Safety Programs must be delivered to all peoples regardless of race, based on the true history of this country. These programs need to be delivered to our own people as well, to run parallel to a mainstream saturation.

We are all on so many different levels of understanding when it comes to culture, and from the direct impact of colonial policies the manifestation of Lateral Violence have left so many elusive to our own importance and place within our families and communities, before we even think about delving in to the deliberate severance from culture and dreaming.

We ALL need to understand the true meaning of Lateral Violence to ensure we can live in a culturally safe society, this will educate and reinforce our connection to land and spirit! This is the only way to stop the desecration of our sacred sites and the destruction of our languages and culture.

It must be done by all of us and it must be done now!

Cultural Safety Programs, knowledge and development needs to be owned, without hierarchy, within our own communities, because it belongs to each and every one of us.

In terms of my reference to the top down approach, I am talking about what is developed and then delivered to mainstream populations. The success of cultural education for mainstream will always fail if left only to the few Aboriginal people working on the ground at the coal face, our people in these roles cannot even begin to bare this responsibility alone and it is a very unrealistic position that some organisations and departments put our people in.

The role of servicing our people in our current climate is in dire conflict with the need for addressing the levels of ignorance and racism we continue to face every day and it is impossible to place one before the other, if we focus only on educating and addressing the cultural knowledge gap then delivery of services to the people who desperately need us suffers and vice versa.

Cultural Safety needs to be enforced by the heads of all departments and organisations with a mandatory directive for Cultural Safety Programs to be delivered systematically throughout each and every organisation. If their core business provides a service to our people in any way, or employs our people in identified or mainstream roles, is responsible for educating our young people or youth and indeed all educational arenas then it must become a part of the organisational culture to ensure equal human rights across all levels for Aboriginal and Islander people.

To begin closing the so called ‘gap’ this approach must become a priority for every organisation, community and individual.

Zero Tolerance to Lateral Violence must be included in all constitutions and policies because as far as I am concerned, we either condone racism or we do not, its as simple as that!

Yours in the fight for unity through Lateral Love & Spirit of Care for All Humankind,

Brian Butler


Brian Butler & Nicola Butler

Lateral Love Australia & Lateral Love Australia Network

MOBILE: 0419 801 085



“The Decade of Lateral Love 2012 – 2022”

“We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Islander peoples of Australia as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this country, and their intrinsic connection to Land, Waterways, Islands and Communities. In this Journey we strive for Cultural Knowledge to be shared with all Australians to provide the platform for equality of Rights for all Humankind. We do this by sharing knowledge, listening, empowering people, creating confidence, self-esteem and the genuine possibilities for a brighter future for our children, our grand-children and all future generations that walk in our fore father’s footsteps.”

“We subscribe to Zero Tolerance to Lateral Violence”


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