News from The Refugee Health Network Queensland
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In this Issue...Ed #47
(Dec, 2020)


End of year message from the Network

The Refugee Health Network Qld team would like to extend its sincere gratitude to all our partners and network members for your contribution, support and commitment to improving the health and well-being of people from a refugee and asylum seeker background in Qld.  We don’t know what the long term impact of a year like 2020 will be but we do know that there are very few times in our lives that we have to face such a difficult and global challenge. Opportunities and challenges presented this year have stretched all of us but in particular have been felt the most by people who are marginalised.  Equity, inclusion and fairness are important values which have guided our work in 2020. Through working in collaboration and partnership with our network and community members, we have been able to provide support and information that is accessible, as well as advocate for consideration for those highly marginalised at a systemic level, so that no one is left behind.

In 2021 we will welcome Grace Edward in the role of Youth Coordinator CALD COVID-19 Response and Benine Muriithi in the Partnership and Engagement role.  These two key part-time  positions funded by Qld Health and in collaboration with our stakeholders will facilitate a strong community development approach to ensuring no one is left behind.  There will also be an evaluation of the CALD COVID-19 response facilitated by QUT with our partners.  This evaluation will look at what has worked well and what are the ongoing challenges.  We will call upon all our network members to support this important evaluation.
Everyone has worked incredibly hard and we are so grateful for your engagement and ongoing commitment.

Wishing you all a good end of year and may this be a time of rest, reflection and restoration.  We look forward to working with each and everyone of you in 2021.  

The Refugee Health Network Qld will be closed from December 24th 2020 until January 11th 2021.

Keep up to date - COVID 19 information & other community support during  the holiday period

During the holiday break it is still important to know current COVID 19 information.
Subscribe to Public Health Direction updates, Stay informed about the latest public health directions regarding corona virus (COVID-19) by signing up to the Queensland Health newsletter and access translated information from Qld Health:
  • If you need more information or don’t understand the updates, Call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84) and ask for an interpreter. It is free. 
  • If you need support and information to find aid, assistance and mental health services in your language, The Multicultural Connect Line is a Queensland-wide service for people from multicultural backgrounds whose lives have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, call 1300 079 020 (closed Public Holidays).
  • Information and support services on domestic and family violence can be found in the Queensland Government website.
  • Useful contacts for the community over the festive season here.
  • Emergency relief and support services information over Christmas/ New year here.

Changes to Queensland border restrictions for NSW travellers: 21 December 2020

The Chief Health Officer has recently made a number of changes to the restrictions in Queensland. This is in response to the COVID-19 cases reported in Sydney.  Border restrictions Direction (No. 21) 

The purpose of this Public Health Direction is to slow the spread of COVID-19 through border restrictions.  Sydney’s Northern Beaches and Greater Sydney are COVID-19 hotspots.  This is because coronavirus is starting to spread from person to person in the community there.

Click here for the plain English version of this update.  If you have been to Sydney’s Northern Beaches or Greater Sydney since 11 December 2020, this will tell you what you need to do.   Translated versions will be available shortly at this link: Queensland Government website.
Translated Resources for Community

Translated COVID-19 Queensland Updates on COVID safe events during the holidays

Queensland Health has translated information about holding/attending COVID safe events and activities during the holidays. 

This information has been translated into the following languages:
Amharic, Arabic, Bosnian, Cantonese, Dinka, Hindi, Kirundi, Korean, Mandarin, Punjabi, Samoan, Swahili, Tamil (Sri Lankan), Thai, Tongan, Vietnamese 

You can find the English and the translated versions on the Queensland Health website. Scroll down and use the search function to find the specific language.

Translated resources on COVID-19 

The National Department of Health has released new translated resources on COVID-19 including posters and radio ads to ensure a COVID-safe nation.

This include translated information on COVID-19 testing, living the new normal and staying COVIDSafe during the holiday season.

These translated resources can be found in the Department of Health website

Translated oral health videos for children

Dental Health Service Victoria’s Health Promotion team have produced a great video to support families with young children with tooth-brushing.  In these 2-minute videos, Tash and Chomper –­ the smiliest crocodile –­ show children how to have some fun when they brush their teeth. The video is available in English; Vietnamese; Burmese and Arabic.

Translated mental health resources

CALD Suicide prevention resources: Supporting someone in your community who is suicidal: a culturally responsive suicide prevention resource available in 26 languages. Click here to view.

Programs available for cultural communities: 
Cultural Considerations in Mental Health Assessments. Click here to view. (for clinicians)
Culturally responsive suicide prevention training for human service workers is available (early 2021) please click here to register your interest. This training is going to be available online for free

Please contact Hanan on 3317 1234 or email: for further information, including accessing the recent webinar: Understanding Suicide in the Context of Culture, Migration and Settlement.

Community Opportunities

Have your say: NDIS is seeking feedback

The NDIS would like to hear from you about the changes they are making to ensure the NDIS is simpler, faster, fairer and more flexible. You can have your say on how they deliver these improvements so that they work for everyone. 

They have relesed three consultation papers which explain proposed changes to NDIS including what these changes will mean for participants. 

You can provide a written, audio or video submission. 
More information here.

Health and Wellbeing Queensland  - Pick of the Crop program promoting, fruits and vegetable in Logan primary schools

Logan children will be supported to eat more vegetables and fruit with a primary school program called Pick of the Crop. This program is run by Health and Well being Queensland.

Pick of the Crop program looks at the whole school approach to find ways to encourage children and families to eat more fruit and vegetables. The program will look different in every school. Schools might choose to build cultural gardens, change their tuckshop menus, invite farmers to visit or include healthy foods as part of school fundraisers and events. Teachers will also be get additional support to teach students about the importance of nutrition in the classroom.
More information here and you could also watch this video for more information.

Seasonal Job Opportunities- for refugees, temporary visa holders (i.e. some asylum seekers) 

Now is the time to pick up work as a fruit or vegetable picker along Queensland’s Harvest Trail. Multicultural Australia is encouraging you to #pickqld with a range of employment opportunities on offer now during the harvest season - November 2020 to March 2021. 

Jobs are available in regional locations Queensland for various
visa holders.  Register your interest

Free Legal Advice for People Seeking Asylum and Refugees

Romero Centre is providing free legal advice for people seeking asylum and refugees.
When: Every Tuesday from 1pm to 4pm.
Where: Romero Centre; 8 Dutton Street, Dutton Park

Assistance may be provided in the following matters: Traffic offence / Fines & Penalties / Domestic Violence / Assault or any other criminal law issues. They also certify documents and take statutory declarations.

Please call Romero Centre on 07 3013 0100 to make your appointment or Click here for more information.

The 2021 QUT Asylum Seeker Tuition Fee Scholarship applications 

This scholarship is to enable students who are seeking asylum in Australia to access higher education and receive:
  • a tuition fee scholarship for the duration of your course
  • a guaranteed QUT Equity Scholarship - a minimum of $3,500 for one year
  • an Equity computer on commencement at QUT.
If you submit your application and all documentation by 15 Jan 2021, QUT will let you know the outcome by 29 Jan 2021.

Note that applicants who hold Bridging Visa ‘E’ (subclass 050), Temporary Protection Visa (subclass 785) and Safe Heaven Enterprise Visa (subclass 790)  need to have study rights as part of their visa condition in order to be considered.
More information about eligibility and how to apply here.

Upcoming Events

It's in the bag!- Christmas Charity event for ladies around Ipswich

Christmas is upon us and it is a season to share! All ladies are invited to pick up a bag loaded with goodies and personal items.

Day: Thursday 24th December 2020
Time: 4pm-6pm
Where: Queens Park Zone 1, Ipswich

Research Opportunities

Have your say about increasing refugee participation in community-based physical activity programs

QUT has an upcoming research whose purpose is to demonstrate the application of public health principles and a human rights approach to achieve equitable physical activity participation, social inclusion and reduced chronic disease risk for groups who experience greater vulnerability.

Specifically, this project will explore stakeholders’ perspectives of the barriers and enablers to refugee participation in community-based physical activity programs in Brisbane. This knowledge will inform the development of a set of recommendations to increase participation for this group. 

If you agree to participate in this project, you will be asked to participate in an individual or small group interview that is expected to last no longer than 60 minutes. 

More information here.

Bits n Pieces

Inspections of Australia's immigration detention facilities 2019 Report

The Australian Human Rights Commission has recently released a report highlighting the Commission’s key observations and concerns in relation to treatment and conditions in immigration detention arising from inspections of all facilities on the Australian mainland conducted during the second half of 2019.

This report also makes a number of practical recommendations to improve the mental and physical health, as well as the broader wellbeing, of people whom the Government determines must remain in detention.

Read the full report here.

Highlighting great innovation at Metro South Health!

A Ward Communication Tool has been developed by MSH for patients who have difficulty communicating. It is a printed sheet of paper with pictures and words on both sides. Staff and patients can use it to communicate basic care needs, such as requesting a glass of water or asking a patient to sit up.

The tool does not replace the need for an interpreter. For more complex communication, a patient can request an interpreter at any time by pointing to the corresponding picture.
The Ward Communication Tool is available in English, 20 other spoken languages and Auslan.

Human Rights Heroes Campaign Finalists

Check out the Australian Human Rights Commissions nominations for their Human rights heroes awards – Zaki Haidari, a refugee advocate and volunteer with the Refugee Advice and Casework Service, and Beverley Wright, a kindy teacher were both nominated for their work with people of refugee background this year.

Medevac release

Two asylum seekers brought to Australia under medevac legislation repealed in 2019 have been released from detention.

It's believed they're the first of nearly two hundred asylum seekers transported from Manus Island and Nauru under the medevac law to be granted visas.

More information here.

Establishment of the CALD COVID-19 Health Advisory Group 

The Network was pleased to see the establishment of the CALD COVID-19 Health Advisory Group, which the Network, partners and Refugee Health Network Australia had been advocating for. The group held its first meeting on 8th December and is chaired by the Department of Health. The Refugee Health Network of Australia represent Refugee Health Network Qld on the group. The group also includes leaders from culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse communities and their representative organisations, health experts and medical and public health practitioners.

The Advisory Group will play a key role in supporting the Australian Government to coordinate an evidence-based response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and also provide recommendations and options, where required, to improve health outcomes and mitigate the health impact of COVID-19, for people and communities from multicultural backgrounds. 

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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