S6: Multicultural engagement in various spaces

Time: 11:55am – 12:45am
Location: Marsden Room
David Keegan, Chief Executive Officer, HOST International/ROA

6.1 Application of social media platforms in health promotion to address health literacy and equity.

Benjamin Chahola
NSW Health, South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD)

About the presentation

While effective public health messaging is an indispensable component of a robust pandemic response system, access to timely and reliable COVID-19 information during 2020-2021 was challenging in CALD communities.  To address this the SWSLHD HPS developed training for CALD leaders to utilise social media to disseminate NSW health messages, in culturally and linguistically appropriate ways. The training was also a tool for CALD communities to connect with relevant health promotion programs. The training, which incorporated Ottawa Charter principles, built capacity among the 54 participants to effectively use social media to disseminate appropriate messages within CALD communities. This approach to engagement, working with CALD community leaders and trusted people, addressed health equity among targeted populations and is a successful model with future applications.

About the presenter

Benjamin has worked in a number of roles in health promotion and community development in South West Sydney and Tasmania over the last 20 years. In 1991 he worked with UNHCR as Humanitarian Response worker in Turkey.

6.2 Civic Participation in times of crisis: what we can learn from followers, “unofficial leaders” and undocumented humanity in South West Sydney

Dr. Michael Camit
Liverpool Hospital (SWSLHD)

About the presentation

At the height of the pandemic in Southwestern Sydney, Mani, originally a refugee from Laos, decided that the changing nature of health advice was not reaching her community fast enough. So she taught herself how to shoot edit, and subtitle YouTube videos for the Lao community and directed 300 community members to the local vaccination hubs. Jaithoon, a Fijian Indian contractor, held zoom sessions for her network of women to help with mental health. During this period she organized a charity walk that raised $35,000 for the Mito Foundation. Ahmad a former refugee from Iraq, now senior gastroenterologist was producing videos about COVID-19 two months before any Australian government communications. This panel presentation will start with some insights about research on the rise of volunteering in Australia and the world. It will provide a venue for community voices to provide insights into their motivation, successes, challenges and what they need from public organisations. 

About the presenter

Dr. Michael Camit (PhD) is currently Manager, Health Literacy at South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD).  One of his current projects that builds on his research on social media and migrants/ refugees  is the South West Digital Health Literacy and Refugee Project which is exploring ways to build resilience of local refugee communities to misinformation and pilot initiatives that will inform the future of health communication and engagement in Southwest Sydney. He was one of the four consultant that established the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service (MHCS), and a senior advisor in Strategic Engagement and Communication at the NSW Department of Customer Service.

6.3 Effective Consumer and Community Engagement

Robyn El-Khair
Fairfield Hospital (SWSLHD) 

About the presentation 

Over several years, a committed team of volunteer Community and Consumer Representatives, managed by a Community and Consumer Participation Manager, have been completely dedicated to elevating the healthcare experience of many of the diverse communities within the Fairfield Local Government Area (LGA). This process continues, and our community bonds strengthen every year.  The success of our collaboration with minority groups is demonstrated by projects such the Mandaean Women’s Group, who are engaging with the hospital and Multicultural Health to develop a PhotoVoice Project to increase cancer awareness amongst women in the Mandaean community. Our strong engagement and dedicated commitment to the various local communities has allowed a collaborative with these very communities which has benefited both the facility and the consumers. There is an improved healthcare practice and communication now, meeting the cultural needs of many of our local and minority communities.   

About the presenters

Robyn Elkhair is the Community Participation Manager at Fairfield Hospital. Robyn has been in the role for over 10 years.

6.4 Ready to Learn Together - Resources to Support Families of Children Before They Start School

Kerry Dominish
Early Education Inc

About the presentation

The Ready to Learn Together resources, completed in 2022, as part of an NSW Multicultural COVID 19 Innovation Grant, by EarlyEd and partners from the Cumberland Community, is designed to support the development of a child’s readiness for school.   Schools and community groups recognise that not all children have opportunities to be as prepared as they need to be when they start school and that children who start school ready to learn have better educational outcomes. By using these resources, the community will be better able to reach out to families with information about school readiness experiences.  A partnership with local schools, community groups, early childhood services and services delivering early childhood intervention, created resources that match the needs of families and that can be distributed across the community. Resources were created in various formats that are known to make it easier for families to use as well as easy to find or to be shared.  

About the presenters

Kerry has worked for over 40 years in the early childhood intervention, disability and health sectors. Now Chief Executive Officer for EarlyEd, Kerry has used her background as a speech pathologist to ensure children and families have access to the supports, they need to be ready to learn. EarlyEd is funded to build the skills of a child's family, early childhood services, school, and community, critical to maintaining a child's ongoing development and inclusion.   

Last updated:

25 Oct 2022

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