Aboriginal Cultural Safety Framework

Page reviewed


0% of users

found this page useful

This webpage aims to assist community housing providers in understanding the cultural safety framework for First Nations people

Community Housing

Download the framework.

PDF: 4mb

Community Housing

Watch the video

watch now

Our Goal

Aboriginal people living in Victoria experience severe housing disadvantage. The Community Housing Sector is committed to ending that disadvantage and the development of the Community Housing Aboriginal Cultural Safety Framework is a first, and important step towards that goal.

Affordable, accessible housing for Australia’s first peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural safety is defined as an environment that is safe for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders, where there is no assault, challenge or denial of their identity and experience (Williams 2008). Lack of cultural safety is a well-documented and critical barrier to Aboriginal people successfully accessing services, including in the housing and homelessness sectors. 

 The Community Housing Aboriginal Cultural Safety Framework is a practical tool designed to assist community housing organisations to reflect on their practices and adopt strategies and actions to improve the way they engage with and address the housing needs of Aboriginal Victorians. This tool takes a ‘rights based’ approach, which places Aboriginal Victorians and their communities firmly at the centre of community housing policies and practices.

What the Aboriginal Cultural Safety Framework offers

In the framework, you will find:

  • An overview of the definition and importance of Aboriginal cultural safety 
  • A framework to support community housing organisations in understanding and working toward embedding Aboriginal cultural safety
  • A simple step-by-step guide to enable community housing organisations to get started implementing the framework
  • A self-reflection tool for organisations to understand their levels of cultural safety, progress their learning and agree on actions to implement the framework
  • Further resources and case studies

“There is no difference in how you are treated by mainstream or Aboriginal organisations or whether the worker is an Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal person, it is their attitude that matters.”

Lesley Dredge

“We can do much to address the housing outcomes for First Nations people through good policy, planning and most importantly listening deeply and responding from that place.” 

Lesley Dredge, CEO, CHIA Vic

We’re here to help

Cultural awareness training 

Community housing organisations have differing training needs – some might want in-house cultural awareness training and others might want to join sector training on cultural safety. CHIA Vic has worked with a few Aboriginal training organisations that have contextualised their cultural awareness training with the new Framework. Click here for upcoming fee-for-service training or email Holly to discuss your in-house training needs. 

Free consultancy support

CHIA Vic has a small amount of funding to provide consultancy support to assist members to plan for, and implement, the framework. The support will generally be short term and one off and will be provided by a predetermined panel of consultants. For more details please email Lesley.dredge@chiavic.com.au

The Framework in action

Aboriginal Housing Victoria

The Community Housing Aboriginal Cultural Safety Framework is a tool that supports us to systematically ask ourselves whether our organisation and our services are culturally safe.

We have employed an Aboriginal Cultural Wellbeing Officer whose first task will be to work though the Framework, talk to our staff, our community, our partners and, most importantly, our residents to understand and improve the cultural safety of our organisation.


In 2017, VincentCare embarked on the development of its first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), Reflect, in collaboration with staff and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisers from The Long Walk.

The RAP was conditionally endorsed in April 2019 and formally endorsed in August 2019. The plan is for the period April 2019 – April 2020.

Victoria’s Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework

Learn about how Victoria’s Aboriginal community proposes to address the housing challenges facing Aboriginal Victorians.

Resources: Aboriginal Cultural Safety Framework



PDF — 4 MB


Create your own RAP

RAP explained