Safer Pathways Cultural Safety and Capability Training for Clinical Burns Teams

Dr Courtney Ryder1, Dr Julieann Coombes2, Mr Ty Maddern2, Dr Camilla  Kairuz Santos2, Dr Kate Hunter2, Dr Sarah Fraser4, Professor Andrew J A Holland3

1Discipline of Public Health, College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, 2Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research Program,  The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney, Australia, 3The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine & Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 4School of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia


The National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health have 6 action areas. With focus on targeting key health inequities for community, such as a greater burden of acute burn injuries. Despite this cultural safety or capability is not a focus in burn injury models of care (Fraser, 2018). We focus on two NSQHS action areas – improving cultural safety and creating welcoming environments, through the Safer Pathways Project – Building Cultural Capabilities Program (BCCP).
Delivered at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, the BCCP was a collaborative design process through – Cultural Safety experts, Aboriginal researchers and burns clinicians. Focus was on an appropriate program for multidisciplinary burns teams at Westmead, to build clinical skills. The BCCP is part of the culturally appropriate discharge planning model of care in the Safer Pathways project.
The BCCP is a 6-module mixed mode program encompassing: identity and cultural frameworks, colonisation and trauma through to models of health and wellbeing. Emphasis is placed on building clinical yarning capability. Yarning, encompasses prescribed ‘process and exchange’ procedures and includes cultural safety principles to diminish power differentials and create patient centred care. All clinical staff participating in the training are assessed by Aboriginal researchers on their clinical yarning capabilities.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities still face significant inequities when trying to access culturally safe high-quality healthcare. We have developed a high-quality evidence-based program for clinical staff in burns injury to address two key NSQHS action areas.


Dr Courtney Ryder is Teaching Program Director Public Health, Senior Lecturer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Public Health at Flinders University. She is also an early career researcher and Nunga woman from Southern South Australia.

As an ECR Dr Ryder is establishing a research track record on understanding the nuanced ways in which health inequity manifestations impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. This includes work on Indigenous Data Sovereignty with a particular focus on injury epidemiology. Dr Ryder is also a world leader in Aboriginal health education, having spent over a decade revolutionising Aboriginal health education at Flinders University. Currently she oversees all public health courses at Flinders University and has designed and coordinated large and complex topics, pertaining to Aboriginal health and social health sciences in the Doctor of Medicine, Nursing, Midwifery, Health Science and Public Health programs. Work which has transformed student learning, and been recognised nationally and internationally.

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