“Cultural identity is not just an add-on to the best interests of the child. We would all agree that the safety of the child is paramount. No child should live in fear. No child should starve. No child should live in situations of neglect. No child should be abused. But if a child’s identity is denied or denigrated, they are not being looked after. Denying cultural identity is detrimental to their attachment needs, their emotional development, their education and their health. Every area of human development which defines the child’s best interests has a cultural component. Your culture helps define HOW you attach, HOW you express emotion, HOW you learn and HOW you stay healthy!” ~ Bamblett and Lewis 2006
“It’s not our fault if we don’t know our language. It’s not our fault if we don’t know our lore. It’s not our fault if we don’t know our dances and ceremonies. If we don’t know the name of our tribe, it’s not our fault! …and you know what the courageous thing to do, is to reclaim that. Reclaim that language. Reclaim that lore. Reclaim those dances. Re-claim our cultural shape. Because our culture is all around us. Look at this room. Everywhere I look I see it! When I look into your eyes I don’t see a victim I see warriors. You understand what I’m sayin’? I see men. I don’t see drunks or problems or drug addicts. I see men. And our culture, our people, need men like you.” ~ Richard Frankland to some young Koorie men in prison.
“Cultural safety is a feeling of safety that comes about by seeing, feeling and experiencing the positives of your culture. It’s about ensuring you have places where you feel safe to be yourself within your cultural framework – to learn and speak your language, to experience your cultural practise and customs. Every time I interact with someone I am giving them a piece of me and a piece of my culture, so that together we can continue the culture of the 1500 generations that came before me.” ~ Richard Frankland