e-Bulletin February 2012

News and Events

1. Network Highlight – the UNHCR Working Group on Resettlement was held last week in Victoria. Delegates from resettlement countries from around the world attended the four day event which involved both public forums and closed working groups. Network Reference Group and Working Group members had an opportunity to participate in some events. Delegates also visited the regional centres of Shepparton and Geelong.

2. The Water Well Project is a program that supports junior doctors to provide tailored health information sessions to refugee community groups. The interactive sessions intend to create dialogue between the doctors and individuals within the refugee community groups. Doctors in the program are provided professional development to support them in engaging with refugee communities. For further information visit the website www.thewaterwellproject.org

3. Release of the HACC Diversity Planning and Practice Guide. The Department of Health Victoria has released a new guide to assist Home and Community Care (HACC) funded organisations to develop their first ‘diversity plan’. Strengthening diversity planning and practice – a guide for Victorian Home and Community Care services is now available on the HACC website http://www.health.vic.gov.au/hacc/downloads/diversity/diversity_guide.pdf. For additional information about HACC diversity planning and practice, visit the website www.health.vic.gov.au/hacc/projects/diversity_framework.htm

4. Cultural Diversity in Ageing 2012 Conference: Stories to Inspire will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 7-8 June 2012. The conference will address a broad range of themes associated with the design and delivery of culturally inclusive services and showcase best practice and innovative service models.  Topics will include social inclusion, elder rights, person-centred care, residential care, community care, workforce diversity, clinical care, palliative care, research, dementia care and carer support. For further information visit the website www.culturaldiversity.com.au/conference-2012


5. Multicultural Gamblers Help Program have developed a resource in Karen “Taking the first step together: gambler’s help in your community” which uses culturally appropriate characters and scenarios to explore pathways into gambling, the impact of problem gambling, responsible gambling practices, and options for seeking help. All chapters can be viewed by clicking here ceh.org.au/mghp/problem_gambling_resources/dvdgamblershelp.aspx , further multi lingual resources on problem gambling can be found at this link ceh.org.au/mghp/problem_gambling_resources.aspx

6. Multicultural Women’s Health Australia’s (MWHA) new website. The program provides national leadership in immigrant and refugee women’s health, operating across Australia to improve the capacity of immigrant and refugee women to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health. Their new national website http://www.mcwh.com.au/mwha/mwha.php has just been launched which makes available an online catalogue of over 5,500 quality multilingual resources in over 40 languages.

Professional Development

7. Can racial discrimination hurt more than your feelings? VicHealth and the University of Melbourne’s Public Health, Epidemiology and Health Services Research Domain are co-presenting a research seminar featuring Prof. Nancy Krieger, from the Harvard School of Public Health,  on the relationship between race based discrimination and health.  Following Nancy Krieger’s presentation, there will be a panel of researchers and practitioners discussing some local initiatives being undertaken in this area. Monday 5 March, 2.30 – 4.30pm, VicHealth 15-31 Pelham St, Carlton.

8. Seeking asylum in Australia – mental health and human rights of children and families presented by Professor Louise Newman, Professor of Developmental Psychiatry, Director of the Centre for Developmental Psychiatry & Psychology, Monash University. Louise Newman is also the Convenor of the Alliance of Health Professions for Asylum Seekers and an advocate for the rights of asylum seekers and refugees. She is the Chair of the Detention Expert Health Advisory Group an independent body providing advice to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship on the heath needs of asylum seekers. This is an Australian Institute of Family Studies seminar series presentation. Thursday 15 March 2012, 10:00 – 11:15 am, AIFS Seminar Room, Level 20, 485 La Trobe Street, Melbourne.   For full details visit www.aifs.gov.au/institute/seminars/2012/newman/index.php

9. Developing a Comprehensive Language Services Response professional development facilitated by the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health. A comprehensive approach to language services is vital for providing high quality care to migrants and refugees with low English language proficiency. This workshop takes you through the various elements involved in language services planning and delivery: staff training, dedicated resources, quality measures, policies and procedures, and promoting language services. Wednesday 21 March, 9am – 2pm, $150 (includes morning tea and lunch), Carlton. For further information and to register visit http://www.ceh.org.au/training/workshops.aspx


10. “Barriers to and facilitators of utilisation of mental health services by young people of refugee background”. (2012). The study that informed this report canvassed the views of more than 100 practitioners in mental health services or in contact with mental health services about “what works” and “what does not work” in engaging young people from refugee backgrounds with mental health services. It was conducted by Dr Erminia Colucci (Centre for International Mental Health) as a collaborative project between Foundation House and Associate Professor Harry Minas (Centre for International Mental Health), Dr Georgia Paxton (Royal Children’s Hospital) and Carmel Guerra (Centre for Multicultural Youth Issues). The research was supported by grants from the Myer Foundation and the William Buckland Foundation.  For a copy of full report visit: https://refugeehealthnetwork.org.au/barriers-to-and-facilitators-of-utilisation-of-mental-health-services-by-young-people-of-refugee-backgrounds/

11. Full report now available: An Evaluation of the Primary Healthcare Needs of Refugees in Southeast Metropolitan Melbourne. This report describes the demography of the refugee populations in Melbourne’s southeast. It identifies a greater burden of disease among refugees compared to non-refugees, particularly in mental health, maternal health, infectious disease and chronic disease. It details the local refugee health services and programs, and their increasing utilisation. It recommends key areas for service development, routine data collection and research to improve health service delivery to refugees. The full report is available from sapcru.org/services/consulting/