e-Bulletin January 2012

News and Events

1. Network Highlight – Congratulations Dr I-Hao Cheng, one of five national finalists in the Individual Distinction category of the HESTA Primary Health Care Awards, held in partnership with the Australian General Practice Network (AGPN).  Hao who has dedicated his career to delivering high quality, culturally appropriate primary care to refugees received national recognition for his work.  Hao is an active member of the Victorian Refugee Health Network Reference Group and GP Working Group. To read more click here

2. The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters’ (NAATI) New Interpreters Project. The Project aims to increase the number of NAATI interpreters around Australia. The Project will target areas to increase the number of interpreters in new/emerging languages, rarer languages and languages for which there are shortages in rural and regional areas. Applications for the New Interpreters Project must be received by the 20 January 2012 to be considered for the workshop. For further information visit www.naati.com.au or download the booklet http://www.naati.com.au/PDF/Booklets/BOOKLET_N.pdf


3. Foundation House’s School’s In for Refugees: A whole-school approach to supporting students of refugee background (2011). This resource provides school staff and others working with schools strategies to help refugee students overcome learning difficulties, adjust to a new environment, and negotiate ongoing challenges as they engage in the schooling system. For an interactive pdf copy of the resource visit www.foundationhouse.org.au/service_innovation_program/working_with_schools/resources.htm Those working in schools may also be interested in joining the online community School’s In For Refugees Online, for further information click here

4. Phones and the Internet: Your Rights, a new education and training kit for refugees and new settlers produced by Footscray Community Legal Centre’s (FCLC). The Phones and the Internet: Your Rights kit, developed with funding from the ACCAN Grants Scheme aims to equip workshop participants with straightforward information to successfully access telecommunications. The kit contains five stories to illustrate common problems that people who are new to Australia may experience when connecting to telecommunications services, including concepts involved in buying a mobile phone, using a mobile phone, connecting to the internet, pay TV and purchasing phone cards.  For further information about the resource contact Anita Smith, Financial Counsellor – Community Education and Community Development, (03)9689 8444,

5. My Language – resources in community languages online. The new portal provides links to multilingual search engines, web directories, government websites, online dictionaries, and syndicated news headlines. It also contains translations of online government and community information relating to health, legal issues, settlement, education and public libraries along with information on multilingual library collections around Australia. To visit My Language website click here

Professional Development

6. Foundation House Semester 1 2012 Professional Development Calendar. Foundation House continues to provide professional development opportunities to education, health and community services as part of a broader objective to build the capacity of these sectors to better respond to the needs of people from a refugee background.  In 2010-2011 financial year they provided 226 professional development sessions to 6500 participants.  To access the Foundation House Professional Development Calendar for Semester 1 2012 please click here

7. Monash University Post-Graduate Nursing Unit: Refugee health and wellbeing. The closing date for enrolments for this unit is 13th January 2012.  For further information about the unit click here or contact: Suzanne Willey, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Peninsula Campus, Monash University Tel + 61 3 9904 4328 e:

Research / Reports

8. EACH Social and Community Health’s report: “The pregnancy and post birth experience of women from refugee backgrounds living in the Outer East of Melbourne”. This Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies innovation grant project recruited 42 women from refugee backgrounds who participated in eight focus groups, along with 34 health service providers who participated in four focus groups. “The four major themes that emerged from the data provided by mothers of refugee backgrounds focus(ed) on: communication, antenatal education, postnatal care, and cultural practices. The main themes identified by the local health service providers also included communication, along with referral pathways continuity of care and professional development for staff working with refugee clients.” (page 5).  For a full copy of the report click here

9. Paxton, G. A., Rice, J., Davie, G., Carapetis, J. R. and Skull, S. A. (2011). East African immigrant children in Australia have poor immunisation coverage. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 47: 888–892. This article concludes: “Paediatric East African immigrants in Victoria are very likely to be inadequately immunised and parent-reported vaccination status does not predict serological immunity. Full catch-up immunisation is recommended where immunisation status is unknown and written records are unavailable. Consideration should be given to policy and program development to provide timely and complete immunisation coverage in this group after arrival in Australia.” (from abstract). To view the abstract of this article click here

10.  Hear our calls for action: Dialogues with women from refugee backgrounds in Australia.  This collaborative Oct 2011 report presents the findings and recommendations from a series of ‘Dialogues’ held in 2011 with women and girls from refugee backgrounds living in Australia. For a full copy of the report click here

11.  Johnston Vanessa, Smith Le, Roydhouse Heather (2011). The health of newly arrived refugees to the Top End of Australia: results of a clinical audit at the Darwin Refugee Health ServiceAustralian Journal of Primary Health, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY11065 This article concludes: “GPs involved in the care of refugees must be aware of the epidemiology of disease in this group, as some diseases are rare among the general Australian population. Our results also highlight the ongoing need for advocacy to address service constraints such as limited public dental access for this population.” (from abstract). To view a copy of the abstract click here