As the Chief Editor of Cultural Safety Editing Service, I will respect your cultural voice. So what does that mean?
It sounds great but I know all-too-well that the writing process can serve to white wash your voice into the so-called accepted standards of society. In other words, your cultural values are edited out so that you fit the dominant social norms that are set about you but without you! Therefore, take out the “buts” and you get “about you and with you”.
Establishing a culturally safe editing experience means that you should know something of my values. First and foremost I’m a First Nations Australian grown-up in the rural town of Narromine (Australia, New South Wales). It means I value being down-to-earth, straight talking, and threading the worm on the hook (a fishing analogy). I study hard and am socially responsible, hence my citizenship award in 1985 (see the picture).
I’m also means resilience because of the lessons from my ancestors. In the photo you can see my Nan, Marjorie Woodrow (far left, deceased 2016) at the launch of her book in 2001 “Long Time Coming Home” (see this article for more). She was a part of the Stolen Generations and fought for her right to be heard. She instilled in me an ethic of resilience in the face of adversity.
My First Nations culture, Nan’s resilience and my rural hard-working values are a part of my cultural voice. I emphasize my cultural voice in diagrams – yes – the heuristic (in the picture and published here) is a diagram I developed to portray how the world views of Western and First Nations Australians can overlap.
But cultural rigour is also complicated: “it is the detailed attention to protocols of engaging with peoples from different cultural backgrounds so that culturally safe relationships are developed. As a result, their cultural voices resonate through every aspect of editing and writing” (Mark J Lock). That definition shows my value of combining scientific rigour with cultural rigour. Then, I relax with my dogs (see the picture).
What does cultural rigour mean in establishing cultural safety?
That’s a big question! Here’s a list you might think about when asking me to be your editor:
- What does cultural safety mean to you? The famous quote is from Maori Nurse Ms Hinerangi Mahi (deceased) “You people talk about legal safety, ethical safety, and safety in clinical practices and a safe knowledge base, but what of cultural safety?”
- Cultural safety means that your cultural values are respected, that you see something of yourself in the writing and editing process, and that you feel safe working with your editor.
- Culture means the more than 270 ancestries in multicultural Australia with over 12% of the Newcastle population (where I live) were born overseas (in 2011, Newcastle City Council Multicultural Plan). It means considering LGBTQIA+, etc.