News from The Refugee Health Network Queensland
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In this Issue...Ed #52 (May, 2021)


COVID-19 Vaccines: Culturally appropriate responses - CALD communities

A webinar was held on May 5th, 2021 which helped to equip us to understand and respond to the concerns and questions that people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities have about the COVID-19 vaccines to help them make informed decisions.

Panel members included: Evelyn Pe (Mater Refugee Health Consultant - 'G11 member' - Myanmar), Intesar Abas Shami (President of the Afar Community in Queensland and MyQ Council Youth Leader), Dr. Paul Griffin (Mater Head of Infectious Diseases), Dr. Margaret Kay (GP and  Clinical Lead in Multicultural Health, BSPHN), Anna Strikis (Mater Refugee Health Nurse)

Missed it? - Watch the session here.

COVID-19 Vaccine Community Information 

Evelyn Pe, Mater Refugee Health Consultant (Myanmar) organised an information session at ACCESS Community Services for the Karenni community in Logan in April, 2021. 25 people attended the workshop which focused on providing information about COVID 19 vaccine and answering many questions. To watch a short video of the workshop see here.

The CALD COVID 19 Health Community Engagement Program auspiced by the Refugee Health Network, made up of 7 partners  aims to ensure all CALD communities in Queensland regardless of their background and language proficiency have equitable access to appropriate health information and services to maximise their health and wellbeing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about the project or to request a community information session contact Grace Edward -  Youth Engagement Coordinator CALD COVID Project, Refugee Health Network Queensland T: (07) 3163 8832  M: 0401 101 005  E:

Federal Budget announced 2021-22

The Government has announced the measures for the Federal Budget 2021-22 which focus on the pandemic recovery, as well as aged care reform, mental health, NDIS, and women’s safety.

The Settlement Engagement and Transition Support Community of Practice (SETSCoP) have compiled some of the key measures for the settlement of migrants and refugees within the 2021-22 Federal Budget. Please stay tuned for further analyses of the impacts on the settlement programs which will be provided throughout the week.

See a summary of Federal Budget 2021-22 measures specific to migration and settlement HERE.

New Services

RAILS Cancellations Program

RAILS Cancellations Program is a free legal service provided by the Refugee and Immigration Legal Service. This program provides assistance to people in Queensland whose visas have been
cancelled or are at risk of being cancelled in certain circumstances.

Legal assistance provided will range from one-off assistance to ongoing representation.
More information here.


A joint response by QPASTT and WWG to the complex mental health needs of people seeking asylum. The program offers a dedicated team of cross cultural and trauma specialist mental health practitioners working together to provide a timely response to people seeking asylum with complex mental health needs, including sub-acute care needs and addiction and substance abuse issues. Funded by the Queensland Department of Health, the team will deliver services in outreach locations and via telehealth to provide state-wide access. More information and refer here.

Australian Red Cross’ Family & Domestic Violence Financial Assistance Program

This program is now open for individuals seeking support and service provider referrals.
The program is available to all people on temporary visas, or with uncertain visa status, experiencing family and domestic violence, in need of financial support.

Under the year-long pilot program beginning in May 2021, we will be providing up to $3,000 in financial assistance to people who are eligible to help cover expenses such as accommodation, food, and medical care.

Red Cross is using a secure web-portal to ensure client data is protected, information is shared with full and informed consent, and privacy protected. If an individual is currently supported by a specialist FDV agency or other service, the quickest and safest way to make a referral is:
  1. Visit
  2. Download the Red Cross Referral Form from the webpage
  3. Your agency caseworker completes the Red Cross Referral Form with the client
  4. The client (or with assistance from your agency) self-registers via our portal
  5. Within the portal the client will need to i) provide visa details (passport/Immi card), ii) confirm bank documentation (to facilitate payment if that is the option) iii) upload the completed referral form and iv) provide consent.
This process limits the need for Red Cross to undertake an intake with individuals already supported by a partner agency. It also ensures their data is protected.

If your agency is needing assistance or has enquiries about the portal or application processes, please call 1800 RED CROSS and program staff will be able to assist.
To apply, visit
Translated Resources for Patients

Translated Videos about the COVID Vaccine

Department of Health videos about the covid vaccine delivered by health professionals in different languages:


Reliable, accurate & up to date translated health & wellbeing information, free & online. 23,000  resources in over 100 languages. Health Translations links to multilingual resources published by Australian peak health bodies.
The May edition of Health Translations news has the latest multilingual resources on COVID-19, Disability (Multiple Sclerosis, NDIS), Diabetes, Stroke, Tax, Mental health, Women's health, Children's health & parenting and many more. See it here.
 Resources for Clinicians

Updated Quality Improvement toolkits for general practices

Quality Improvement (QI) toolkits are designed to support general practices to make easy, measurable and sustainable improvements, and to provide best-practice care for patients. Brisbane South PHN has recently updated a patient population QI toolkit. This toolkit helps practices identify patient population demographics, including country of birth and cultural background, and outlines processes for ensuring patients from multicultural backgrounds receive their immunisations. The toolkit been endorsed by the Refugee Health Network Qld.
See the Kit here.

Education Opportunities


27 - 28 May, 2021
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

We strongly encourage all who have an interest in women's health to attend this unique and important Forum, where we will be bridging the knowledge gaps in Australian women's health, and exploring the ever growing research that is available. More information and register here.

Culturally Responsive Health Care for Older Australians 

Register now to attend this professional development webinar which will be broadcast on Wednesday 19th May 2021 6.45pm – 8.45pm (AEST).

This webinar will discuss the relationship between culturally diverse social and emotional wellbeing beliefs and aging related issues, and examine how this interplay impacts treatment and support sought by older people.

Training for Consumers

Health Consumers Queensland is proud to support health staff to genuinely and respectfully partner with consumers and carers. In turn, we support consumers and carers to become effective advocates on behalf of past, present and future health service users.

Check out upcoming training opportunities from Health Consumers Qld here.

Working with Young People from Refugee Backgrounds

Date: Thursday 20th May 2021
Time: 9:30 – 4:30
Where: 28 Dibley St, Woolloongabba
Cost: $150 (plus online booking fees) for students, volunteers, unwaged and QPASTT members, $200 (plus online booking fees) for all others. 
Bookings here. 

Employment and Scholarship Opportunities

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse COVID-19 Health Engagement Project

  • Expression of Interest out now for a part-time (3 days per week)
  • 6 month Project Coordinator Position
  • People from CALD backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply
  • Apply by 8am 18th May 2021
See the Position Description here.
Download the EOI here.

Observership program for International Medical Graduates from a refugee background

Mater’s part-time observership program for International Medical Graduates-From Refugee Background (IMGs-FRB) enables them have some exposure in an Australian hospital to facilitate their pathway into re-entering the Australian Medical workforce.
See the Expression of Interest with more details. 
The deadline for sending the  EOI is COB Monday 24th May 2021.

UQ Refugee and Humanitarian Scholarships

The University of Queensland is offering up to 10 scholarships for students from refugee or asylum seeker backgrounds each year. The Scholarship will provide a full tuition fee waiver and an $8000 annual living stipend for students to pursue undergraduate or postgraduate coursework studies.  More information here.

Scholarships for Nurses to prepare for the workforce

ACN’s Transition to Practice Program prepares newly qualified Registered and Enrolled Nurses for a confident entry into the workforce.

Upon completion of the program’s 13 modules, participants will be able to provide future employers with evidence of their knowledge, commitment to continuous learning and development and their readiness for practice.

In celebration of International Nurses Day, during the month of May 2021 ACN is proud to offer 1,000 scholarships for the ACN’s Transition to Practice Program to ACN members* and a 50% discount to non-members.

More information and apply here.

Community Events/Opportunities

Launch of a culturally tailored Diabetes type 2 Program 

For Arabic speaking and Māori and Pacific Islander communities in Brisbane

Launch date: 18th May 2021
Time: 6pm for 6:30pm start to 8:00pm
Venue: QLD Multicultural Centre - 102 Main St, Kangaroo Point QLD 4169
Catering: Light dinner with cultural entertainment will be provided
Cost: Free
Parking: Parking at venue as well as street parking

Register here
This is a face-to-face event and registration is required for your attendance.


This event is to support and connect multicultural communities participate in domestic violence awareness month through sharing stories

Diverse Connections is an aspiring consulting providing cross cultural leadership, information and support to organisations and underrepresented communities with advocacy at its heart.  

This is a women's  only event,

Tickets available on Eventbrite
More: Rose Karlo 0431628568



Bringing Women Together

Are you interested in meeting women from diverse backgrounds to learn more about each other and discuss important issues that effect our community?
Next group - Thursday 27th May 10.00 am to 12.00pm.

Download the Flyer here.

The LUMINOUS Lantern Parade

The Parade is held in the week of Queensland Day, the annual celebration of the state’s culture, heritage, people, places and industry. 

Come and celebrate our diversity and welcome all new Queenslanders at the LUMINOUS Lantern Parade! RSVP here.

Refugee Health Nurse News

4th annual RNA Forum - Register Now

The interactive forum on June 10th 2021 is for all members to meet and connect to discuss issues relating to the organisation and to our work, including:
• Regional updates from each state and territory
• Workshops on research, advocacy, education and the future of RNA
Download more information and register here.

The Refugee Nurses Australia (RNA) network is led by Refugee Health Nurses across Australia.
View the website here.

Bits and Pieces

Reports about Asylum seekers and the impact of COVID

  • 'COVID-19: One Year On' Impact Report -  The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) has published a new report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people seeking asylum and how the ASRC responded. COVID – 1 year on  - Read it here.  

Opportunity to help the people seeking asylum who have been recently released from detention in Brisbane

The situation for the people seeking asylum is rapidly changing and they continue to need support. They remain at risk of homelessness. Take a look at the video  and click here to donate

One Plus One: Moz Azimi

Kurdish refugee Mostafa Azimitabar fled Iran in 2013, attempting to come to Australia by boat. Almost eight years later he was released into the community, after a journey that took him to Christmas Island, Manus Island, Port Moresby and two inner city Melbourne hotels. Watch his story on ABC here.
Subscribe to the E News HERE
This E-Newsletter provides a regular forum to share news, resources and information to support practitioners, build capacity and partnerships to improve the health and wellbeing of people from refugee backgrounds. 

It is collated and distributed by the Refugee Health Network Queensland and supported by 
Mater and the Queensland Government.

Contributions about Refugee Health to this E-Newsletter and feedback are welcome. 

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