Embedding cultural safety in education and assessments

We are delighted to launch APC's latest literature review Approaches to implementation of cultural safety in the training and education of health professionals in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America.

To open up this conversation, we're launching a series of podcasts and webinars. We'll be talking to First Nations peoples, pharmacists and educators to discuss our findings and next steps.

Literature Review

Australian pharmacy students must demonstrate awareness of and sensitivity to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and promote and advocate for cultural safety, respect and responsiveness.

In this review, we examined health professional education programs in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA, with the objective of enhancing cultural safety education of Australian pharmacy students.

This is so that upon graduation they are both committed to the improvement of the health and wellbeing of First Nations peoples, and capable of practising in ways that are culturally safe, sensitive and responsive.

To learn more you can:

The artwork

Step in the Right Direction was created to represent the journey we are on to embed cultural safety into pharmacy education programs in Australia. Starting at the bottom of the piece, the footprints symbolise APC through the literature review, getting the current lay of the land. The footprints at the top part of the painting reflect APC but post the literature review. They’re moving forward, applying the findings to ensure that pharmacy graduates are able to practise in a culturally safe way. The positive impact on health outcomes for First Nations peoples is represented by the ripples (white dots).

Read more about the artist, Sarah Richards, in our literature review or on her website, Marrawuy Journeys.


Opening up the conversation

A series of podcasts and webinars

We've reviewed the literature. Now, guided by our Indigenous Health Strategy Group, we're discussing a vision of transformational change.

We invite you on our journey of learning through a series of podcasts and webinars.

Through storytelling, interviews, presentations and panel discussions, we'll delve into how and why we need to embed cultural safety in pharmacist education and assessments.

We will update this page when new information is available.

Conversation 1: Who are we here for?

September 2021 | Podcast

Hear from pharmacists, Chastina Heck, a Nywaigi, Mamu, Bidjara woman, in conversation with Associate Professor Faye McMillan AM, a Wiradjuri woman, discussing:

  • Indigenous and western perspectives of health
  • global policies
  • impacts of COVID-19.

You will also hear from a patient, about her experience with the health system as a First Nations woman.

Listen to the podcast Conversation 1: Who are we here for?

Conversation 2: What do we know?

30 September 2021 | Webinar

What do we know and not know about cultural safety?

Join us as we share key insights and reflections on the literature review, including:

  • local and international Indigenous health frameworks
  • pedagogical and philosophical principles.

Dr Erica Sainsbury

Erica Sainsbury is the primary author of the literature review. She is a registered pharmacist, with more than 30 years in the Faculty and School of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney. She has a focus on the education of interns, and on teaching the fundamentals of legal professional practice, dispensing and clinical therapeutics within the Faculty’s degree programs. She remains an Honorary Associate of the School, and still maintains a teaching role into both the degree and intern training programs. She is an elected member of the Pharmacy Council of NSW, where she is involved in the regulation of professional practice. Erica acts as a consultant to APC on a number of large projects, and is a member of their Accreditation Committee and Intern Training Program Providers Liaison Committee. While undertaking the literature review for this project, Erica realised that the process of researching and writing the report was also a journey of personal transformation. She hopes to share her reflections during the webinar.

Associate Professor Faye McMillan AM

Associate Professor in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, School of Population Health at the University of New South Wales (UNSW)
Faye is a Wiradjuri yinaa (woman) from Trangie, NSW. She is currently Associate Professor in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in the School of Population Health at UNSW. This year she has started her new role as one of two new Deputy National Rural Health Commissioners. Here she will play a vital role in the Federal Government's agenda to increase access to rural health services. Faye was named the 2019 NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year. She was the inaugural President of Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA). Faye is also one of our APC Board Directors.

Anna Latu

Senior Lecturer in Hauora Maori at the University of Otago
Anna has a range of research interests including Māori health, cultural competence, Māori health workforce development, social and behavioural cancer prevention, and physical activity and health issues for the next generation and diverse abilities. Anna has designed and delivered a number of Hauora Māori initiatives over the years, supporting academics and students to advance Māori health. She has a wide range of research collaborations both within the University and the community. Her networks with the local kohanga, kura kaupapa and te whare pounamu (women's refuge) keep her grounded, as she works to make a difference for her people. Anna loves to spend time with her friends and whānau. In 2019 she gave birth to Apiteniko, her pōtiki (youngest child). She was told on his arrival that he had Trisomy21, the best news ever! Api has created a whole new way of thinking and living for both Anna and her whānau. She is proud of her children and humbled that they chose her to be their mum.

Watch the webinar on demand


Conversation 3: What are we doing?

28 October 2021 | Webinar

What are we currently doing in pharmacy education to improve health outcomes for First Nations peoples?

Join Aleena Williams, APC Indigenous Health Strategy Group member, in conversation with experts from the:

  • Griffith University
  • University of South Australia
  • National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association
  • The Pharmacy Guild of Australia
Speakers will be discussing what they’re currently doing around:
  • curriculum development
  • practical assessments and experiences
  • student initiatives and reflections
  • continuing professional development
  • promoting culturally safe pharmacy premises

Aleena Williams

Director of Immunisation and Notifiable Diseases, Department of Health, Northern Territory
Aleena is a Yugambeh woman from South-East Queensland. She is a registered pharmacist with a background in rural and remote pharmacy practice where she has supervised pharmacy students and early career pharmacists. Aleena brings a lived experience of working as a pharmacist while maintaining connections to community and country. She is a member of APC’s Indigenous Health Strategy Group and Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group.

Dr Kerry Hall

Lecturer, First Peoples Health Unit Aboriginal Health Practitioner, Griffith University
Dr Kerry Hall is a lecturer with First Peoples Health Unit, Griffith University, a descendant of the Kuku Yalanji and Lama Lama Peoples, an Enrolled Nurse and Aboriginal Health Practitioner. Her teaching and research focus include primary health care and access to care, community engagement, capacity building, health inequity with a particular interest in cultural safety and culturally safe care. More recently this has extended to include collaboration with Dr Fiona Kelly, community pharmacists and Aboriginal Health Workers on the implementation stage of the 'Feasibility study of an Indigenous Medication Review Service (IMeRSe) in Australia.

Dr Fiona Kelly

Pharmacy Practice academic at the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, Griffith University
Fiona has a teaching and research focus on person-centred care, innovative pharmacy services and pharmacies as safe healthcare spaces. More recently this has extended to include collaboration with Dr Hall, community pharmacists and Aboriginal Health Workers on the implementation stage of the 'Feasibility study of an Indigenous Medication Review Service (IMeRSe) in Australia.' Related resource have been integrated into pharmacy student education.

Professor Debra Rowett

Discipline Leader Pharmacy, Clinical and Health Sciences, University of South Australia
Debra has worked extensively in the area of quality use of medicines, inter-professional practice, health policy and workforce development in Australia and internationally. Debra is working with Michael Watkins Lecturer: Aboriginal Allied Health, UniSA and Associate Professor Sara Jones, Rural Clinical Education and Training in the Department of Rural Health, UniSA to develop interprofessional rural and remote teaching and learning opportunities. Their aim is to enhance curricula for pharmacy students to engage with and reflect the needs and priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Debra is the President Council Pharmacy Schools Australia and New Zealand.

Michael Watkins

Lecturer, Aboriginal Allied Health, University of South Australia
Michael Watkins is currently employed as Lecturer: Aboriginal Allied Health at the University of South Australia (UniSA) and identifies as a descendant of the Mudburra and Jingili peoples from the Northern Territory. Michael has a keen interest in developing rural health workforce, rural and remote health practice, nutritional science, Aboriginal health curriculum development and providing strategic guidance and support to university processes relating to Aboriginal strategy within higher education.

Verity Boustead

National President, National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association
Verity is the National President of NAPSA for the 2021/22 term. She is a current Fourth Year student undertaking her Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) / Master of Pharmacy at Monash University in Melbourne. Through her role as the NAPSA President, she hopes to work closely with the highly capable team of NAPSA Executive Directors, NAPSA Chairs and the Advisory Council, to continue the vital work of their predecessors in strengthening the knowledge and experiences of pharmacy students and interns throughout Australia, and ensuring that their future is prosperous.

Prianka Maharaj

Rural and Indigenous Chair, National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association
As the Rural and Indigenous Chair for NAPSA 2021/2022, Prianka’s role involves representing her fellow pharmacy students to several rural health organisations. She encourages students to apply for rural or regional placement by hosting accessible education sessions about rural pharmacy and cultural awareness and safety.

Simon Blacker

ACT Branch President and a National Councillor, The Pharmacy Guild of Australia
Simon is the Chair of the Guild’s Clinical Governance Committee responsible for overseeing the Quality Care Pharmacy Program and the Quality Care 2020 Requirements accreditation program. He is the newly appointed Chair of Community Pharmacies for Rural and Indigenous Australia and member of the Health Economics and Policy Committee. Simon is also a member of the Heart Foundation (ACT) Local Advisory Board and the University of Canberra Pharmacy Course Advisory Group. A community pharmacy owner and operator for over 20 years, he has community pharmacies in Parkes, Dubbo and Canberra.

Watch the webinar on demand


Conversation 4: Where do we go from here?

Monday 22 November 2021 | Webinar | Canberra

Our annual Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom AO Distinguished Lecture Series covered Conversation 4: Where are we going? 

We've talked the talk - now we walk the walk.

The panelists explored the importance of creating safe spaces, the value of respectful listening, and humanising the pharmacy profession. We launched our Reconciliation Action Plan and reflected on how we approached inclusion.

Join our Indigenous Health Strategy Group and other panelists:

  • Associate Professor Faye McMillan AM, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, School of Population Health at the University of New South Wales
  • Professor Debra Rowett, Discipline Leader Pharmacy, Clinical and Health Sciences, University of South Australia
  • Bronwyn Clark, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Pharmacy Council
  • Chastina Heck, Clinical Pharmacist, Logan Hospital and Conjoint Associate Lecturer, School of Pharmacy, University of Queensland
  • Aleena Williams, Director of Immunisations and Notifiable Diseases, NT Health
  • Alex Burke, Pharmacy Intern and PhD candidate, The University of Sydney
  • Associate Professor Rebekah Moles, Sydney Pharmacy School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney
  • Associate Professor Sue Kirsa, Chair Australian Pharmacy Council, and Director of Pharmacy Monash Health
  • Mr Brett Simmonds, Chair, Pharmacy Board of Australia, and Associate Lecturer, School of Pharmacy, University of Queensland

Watch the webinar on demand

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