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GEELONG: Creating Culturally and Psychologically Safe Workplaces

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Deakin University

Building AD (Sally Walker Building), Level 6

1 Gheringhap Street

Geelong, VIC 3000


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Refunds up to 1 day before event

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Event description



Creating Culturally and Psychologically Safe Workplaces

Photo of speakers for Geelong event

EEON are proud to present a Q&A panel session on Creating Culturally and Psychologically Safe Workplaces.

Many organisations are recognising that employee wellbeing and mental health play a critical role in driving their diversity and inclusion efforts. Providing a safe workplace environment allows employees to truly engage with the workplace, share personal information about themselves, raise any issues or concerns with confidence and comfort, and bring their authentic selves to work.

Diversity & inclusion, employee well-being and mental health are linked in four ways:

This session will unpack the concept of cultural and psychological safety through a diversity and inclusion lens, contemplating one’s lived experience as well as professional practice. The panel will also explore the intersection of psychological safety and cultural safety its impact on organisational culture, workplace systems, team environment and the individual. And finally, how to create culturally and psychologically safe workplaces that contribute to employee well-being and mental health.

Key learning areas for the session include:

  • Practical strategies on how to make workplaces culturally and psychologically safe

  • Building interpersonal trust and respect

  • Examining issues in relation to cultural load and isolation

  • Addressing issues such as covering by affiliation, advocacy, association or appearance

  • Enhancing and enabling organisational culture, workplace systems and teams

  • The role of allies and advocates

This session will have plenty of practical actions and takeaways and opportunities for participants to share their experiences.


Culturally safe workplaces are environments that are safe for people: where there is no challenge or denial of their identity, of who they are and what they need. It is about shared respect, shared meaning, shared knowledge and experience, of learning, living and working together with dignity and truly listening. (Williams, 2008).

Culturally safe places:

  • Are welcoming and inclusive

  • Hold culture in high esteem

  • Recognise Country and its people

  • Provide spaces for Belonging, Being and Becoming together

  • Reflect everyone’s culture

  • Involve people and things that are important to individuals

Psychologically safe workplaces allow people to show and conduct themselves without fear of negative consequences, of self-image, status or career; which are important in workplace collaboration and teamwork.

Psychologically safe places allow people to:

  • Speak up in meetings to propose a risky or untested idea

  • Freely admit and address mistakes, shortcomings and failure

  • Disagree or offer a different way forward than they'd previously considered regardless of hierarchy or status

  • Stick up for a teammate in the face of adversity

  • Function at their optimum level as part of self-affirming workplaces that decrease prejudice, discrimination and harassment

  • Show and share emotions when they are under pressure or stressed out

Event Time:

12:00 - 12:30 pm Lunch and networking (optional)

12:30 - 1:30pm Moderated Panel Discussion

1:30 - 1.45pm Questions and Reflections

2.00pm Event Closes

Cost: Free for EEON 2019-2020 financial members, $50 non-members - we invite you to join as a member on the day, however you will need to purchase a ticket to this event prior to arrival.

Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary or accessibility requirements.

About Our Speakers:

Sarah Cotton

Dr. Sarah Cotton is a registered and endorsed Organisational Psychologist who specialises in best-practice strategies to help individuals and organisations navigate life transitions at work. Drawing upon over 18 years of coaching, training and consulting, Sarah brings a comprehensive background across the university, corporate and not for profit sectors in addition to private practice. Sarah’s academic background includes a PhD in work-stress, and specific training in political and policy related psychology. Committed to reducing the significant costs of work-life conflict, Sarah co-founded Transitioning Well in 2011. Finally, having both published and presented widely, Sarah’s research experience strengthens her profile and motivates her to get research to where it is needed most – real life!

Dr Leigh Kibby

Dr Kibby is part of the ongoing evolution in the care for those with diverse abilities. In this regard, he identifies as someone with Autism and Bi-Polar so he has a direct interest through the lived experience. He is a past Vice president of the Victorian Public Service Enablers Network; and former Chair of the Victorian Public Service Autism Success Network. Leigh has extensive experience as a consultant fostering values driven cultures.

Budi Sarto

Budi Sudarto is the Director of Ananda Training & Consultancy, a boutique training agency specialising in intersectionality, diversity and inclusion. Budi has designed and delivered professional development workshops to explore intersectionality and LGBTIQ+ inclusive practice. This includes the intersections between ethnicity, faith, and LGBTIQ+ identities, as well as LGBTIQ+ individuals with disability. Budi incorporates inclusive leadership as part of the training by challenging cognitive blind spots, privileges, stereotypes, and dominant power ideologies. Budi's mission is to transform workplaces and organisations to be diverse to embrace and celebrate inclusion based on social justice and human rights principles.

Bonnie Chew - proud Wadawurrung woman, with extensive knowledge in Mental Health First Aid, Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management, Reconciliation, Incarceration, Genealogy, Health and Education. Bonnie is the Director of Mirriyu Cultural Consulting.


Access instructions: Enter via Gheringhap st entrance next to The Cube. Head across the John Hay Courtyard and through the glass doors to the Sally Walker Building. Take the elevator to level 6 of building AD, and follow the path around to the Western Beach Room. Signage will be displayed on the 6th level to direct you to the room.

Nearest parking: Parking availability is limited and Deakin does encourage you to consider alternative transport options if appropriatedeakin.edu.au/get-to-deakin However, there is parking available on site. To park on campus, you will require a parking permit. Hourly/daily permits can be purchased using the CellOPark parking app or from cashless parking permit machines - see icon on map for locations. deakin.edu.au/parking

Accessible parking is available in the Deakin carpark. There are also on-street parking options located opposite the Western Beach marked on the map which have a 3-hour limit and can take card or coins.

Please note, by purchasing tickets to this event you will be added to the EEON mailing list. If you do not wish to receive communication from us, email info@eeon.org.au You can unsubscribe from our newsletters at any time.

By taking part in this event you may be photographed. This might include (but may not be limited to) use in printed and online materials. If you do not wish to be photographed please inform the event organiser.

With thanks to our sponsors:

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Date and Time


Deakin University

Building AD (Sally Walker Building), Level 6

1 Gheringhap Street

Geelong, VIC 3000


View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 1 day before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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