Recent professional experiences have encouraged me to reflect on cultural safety in editing.
- I was very pleased to hear an early editing client is part of a recently awarded ARC Discovery project, based on his PhD research on Warratyi Rock Shelter in South Australia. A strength of the original research and the new project was the involvement of the Adnyamathanha people, and cultural exchange of knowledge.
- I edited a multi-authored piece where Aboriginal authors had different ways of describing their heritage. Usually editors try to ensure consistency, but it was more important to use the authors’ descriptions of themselves.
- I edited a journal article on folkloric heritage-based livelihoods in another country by an author from that country. In Australia, the term folklore would probably not be used in that context, but it was an accepted term to describe indigenous culture in the country of the paper and author.
- I watched a Zoom talk for Editors NSW by Dr Mark Lock, a descendant of the Ngiyampaa people, on cultural safety in editing to support culturally diverse perspectives. Mark’s talk was mostly from the health research and academic research perspective. He noted there is no professional body for researchers, which might provide useful guidance on issues such as working with or referring to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture. Mark also presented at the online IPEd conference in June 2021.
- I attended the launch of an app on Dharawal Language and Culture by Ray Ingrey from Gujaga Foundation which provides information on the language of the Dharawal people of southern Sydney. I am working my way through the dictionary, and looking out for the upcoming certificate courses.
These recent experiences continue my interest in learning more about Aboriginal culture and how to support culturally diverse perspectives, both personally and professionally, building on the Diploma in Aboriginal Studies I completed in 2008.
Nandawadi (bye/see you later).
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