e-Bulletin September 2011

News and Events

1. Network activity highlight – health information survey. The Victorian Refugee Health Network has a commenced a project to investigate effective mediums of health information for people from refugee backgrounds. We now have a survey open to all professionals regarding mediums of health information which are being used as part of practice. We are interested in your feedback on health information which is being utilised in your setting. The survey has 9 questions and should take approximately 5 -10 minutes to complete. Click here to open the survey.

2. 2011 Outer East Refugee Health Forum – Thursday 15th September.
This forum is being held by the Outer East Health and Community Support Alliance (OEHCSA), in partnership with the Migrant Settlement Committee Eastern Region. The forum will showcase local projects across the community that support refugee health and wellbeing. Click here for a flyer. RSVP by Friday 9th September to

3. New publication: ‘Out of the darkness, into the light: Australia’s Program of Assistance for Survivors of Torture and Traum (PASTT). The Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (FASSTT) recently launched this new publication. It was launched at Parliament House in Canberra by the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, the Hon Mark Butler MP. The launch was very successful and included a very moving speech by Rosa Vasseghi about her refugee journey and the assistance she received from Foundation House. Click here for a copy.


4. Refugee Health Presentations at the 2011 Refugee Conference now available. This year’s conference, held in NSW in June, marked the 60th anniversary of the Refugee Convention. Presentations covered a range of topics including primary health care delivery, settlement, mental health and disability within an Australia context. Click here to view conference aims, outcomes, and available presentations.

5. Foundation House’s newsletter for schools – “Schools and Agencies Working Together”. The Foundation House Schools Program has a long history of working in schools to enhance the emotional health and educational outcomes of students from refugee backgrounds. The latest edition of the Schools Program newletter includes many good practice examples from schools and community agencies around how they’re working together to support refugee background students and families. It also has links to resources and funding opportunities. Click here for a copy.

6. Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights in Victoria Easy English version brochure is a statement of rights for Victorians who may have difficulty reading and understanding written information. It combines easy to read text and picture combination symbols, and is available in brochure and poster formats which can be ordered from the charter website. The standard version of the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights in Victoria is also available in 25 community languages. Click here to access resources.

Professional Development

7. Refugee Health Series: for GPs, Refugee Health Nurses, practice nurses and interested practice managers. A presentation and discussion will be led by Dr Tom Schultz on “Macro and Micro Nutrient Deficiencies”. This is the fourth of five sessions to be offered in 2011. Thursday 29 September, 7.00pm – 9.00pm (registrations and light meal from 6.30pm). At Pivot West, Central West Business Park, 1st Floor, Bld 1, 9 Ashley Street, West Footscray. Click here for a copy of the flyer and registration form.

Research / Reports

8. Phillips, C. B., Smith, M. M., Kay, M. & Casey, S. (2011). The Refugee Health Network of Australia: towards national collaboration on health care for refugees. Medical Journal of Australia, 195 (4): 185-186. This health care delivery highlights the work of the Refugee Health Network of Australia (RHeaNA) and discusses the struggle at times Australia faces in providing accessible and responsive health care services for refugees.

9. Sheikh, M., Nugus, P. I., Gao, Z. Holdgate, A., Short, A., Al Haboub, A. & Raina MacIntyre, C. (2011). Equity and access: understanding emergency health service use by newly arrived refugees. Medical Journal of Australia, 195 (2): 74-76. This paper reports the findings on newly resettled refugees access to an emergency department. While most participants indicated that they were able to make a call for emergency medical help, a substantial number of respondents revealed that they were afraid to make such a call for fear of security implications, on the basis of experiences from their home countries.

10. Correa-Velez, I. & Ryan, J. (2011). Developing a best practice model of refugee maternity care. About one third of refugee and humanitarian entrants to Australia are women aged 12 to 44 years. A new report from the La Trobe Refugee Research Centre based on the experiences of a maternity hopsital in Brisbane finds a need for a model of refugee maternity care that provides continuity in carers, quality interpreter services, educational strategies for women and health care professionals, and the provision of psychosocial support to women from refugee backgrounds.

11. Refugee Health Nurse Program Evaluation – East.  Eastern Access Community Health (EACH) has undertaken an evaluation of the care provided by their nurses and sessional GP as part of the Refugee Health Nurse Program. The evaluation report completed by Jacqui Robson during her social work student placement is now available. EACH will used the recommendations to help further improve the services they provide for clients as part of this program. Click here for a copy of the evaluation report.

12. Pottie, K et al. (2011). Evidence-based clinical guidelines for immigrants and refugees. Canadian Medical Association Journal, Early release, published at www.cmaj.ca on July 26, 2011. Subject to revision. These clinical guidelines place a large emphasis on using an evidence-based clinical preventive approach to complement existing public health approaches.