Cultural safety: Discourse analysis and the culture of healthcare

I’m doing a presentation!

  • Date and Time: Wednesday 20th April
  • Time: 3pm – 4pm
  • Location: VTMH Seminar Room,  St Vincent’s Hospital,  Level 1, Bolte Wing (Enter Via Nicholson Street).

Book here.


Cultural safety was developed by Indigenous nurses in Aotearoa New Zealand as a mechanism for considering and equalizing power relationships between client and practitioner.

An ethical framework for practice derived from postcolonial and critical theory, cultural safety proposes that practitioners reflect on how their status as culture bearers impacts on care, with care being deemed culturally safe by the consumer or recipient of care.

The question remains: how does the practitioner come to understand “culture” outside a media environment of “culturalism”, that persistently makes those outside the dominant culture a victim of their culture, while dominant groups exist in a “culture of no culture”, and get to choose whether or not to participate in “culture”?

In this presentation, I examine the dominant cultural discourses that shape the knowledge, skills and values of healthcare providers toward migrant mothers, and show how discourse analysis can help understand how culture is represented and how it comes to distribute power.


Our speaker, Dr Ruth DeSouza, leads the research program at the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health.  Ruth has worked as a mental health nurse, therapist, educator and researcher. Ruth has written extensively about cultural safety, mental health, maternity and migration.