Aboriginal Cultural Safety Framework

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

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

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 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 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

The following consultants have been involved in the development of the Framework or worked with CHIA Vic and CHOs:

Bundyi Girri Consulting is a First Nations-led business, registered with Supply Nation and Kinaway. Bundyi Girri is a Wiradjuri term, translated to mean ‘Shared Futures’ or ‘What is it we can share – the future.’

Bundyi Girri Consulting delivers an organisation-wide approach to Reconciliation, with a focus on developing a dynamic, procedural, and open way of working. BGC focuses on building the skills of Reconciliation within the workforce to support long-term behavioural development, and an enhanced workplace culture for all staff. This in turn has been proven to increase the attraction and retention of Indigenous staff and workplace participants, and in providing a culturally strong service response to First Nations Peoples.

BGC’s approach centres on co-designing as an opportunity to collaborate and guide organisations into an understanding of First Peoples Sovereignty as an innovative approach to place, Country, and storytelling. A relationship with BGC will assist to refine organisational maturity and brand narrative – as it relates to First Peoples – and to create an environment for applied learning to take place.

Critical to Reconciliation maturity is supporting non-Indigenous leaders and staff to understand the skills of being ‘active’ in Reconciliation and developing a new narrative for how it partners with First Peoples and organisations.

To find out more about Bundyi Girri Consulting click here.


Kerry Arabena Consulting is a 100% Indigenous-owned consulting firm that offers end-to-end services for a wide range of national and international clients. The Managing Director is Professor Kerry Arabena, a Torres Strait Islander and master facilitator with a well-established reputation as a thought leader, qualitative researcher, evaluator, writer, public speaker, teacher, director and environmental scientific commissioner. For more information click here


Jenny Samms & Nicole Cassar have both assisted CHOs to begin the work on the Cultural Safety Framework and if you want their contact details please contact CHIA Vic



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


CHIA Vic Cultural Safety Framework

PDF — 4 MB


Create your own RAP

RAP explained