News from The Refugee Health Network Queensland
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In this Issue...Ed #33 September, 2019


Multicultural Awards Qld winners announced

Congratulations to all the finalists and especially the winners announced at the Multicultural Queensland Awards gala dinner, held on Friday 30 August at the Royal International Convention Centre, Bowen Hills. Find out more about the winners here.

New program reduces loneliness in Mt Gravatt and surrounds

The Ways to Wellness Project Social Isolation Project links people with sources of group support within the community such as helping them to join a club, activity or even an exercise class. It also provides medical professionals with non-medical referral options that can operate alongside existing treatments. By linking participants with meaningful group programs in the community, the project aims to reduce social isolation, improve community cohesion and assist in preventing the negative health consequences of loneliness. Read more and refer here.

Miss the HIV Management Clinical Education event? Watch it now

This session aimed to help primary health care professionals understand how to manage HIV for their patients of refugee background. Speakers included the Refugee Health Advisory Group, HIV Public Health Unit, GP, Specialist, community organisation and a panel discussion.

Did you miss this session? Watch chapters online via this link

New Multicultural Mental Health Website launched

Embrace Multicultural Mental Health provides a national platform for Australian mental health services and multicultural communities to access resources, services and information in a culturally accessible format.  Check it out here.

To see more information about Mental Health in Queensland check out the Network Mental Health page.

The Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) (the Act)

In February 2019 the Queensland Parliament passed the Human Rights Bill 2018.  The Human Rights Bill 2018 introduces the Human Rights Act 2019 (the Act) into Queensland legislation.  Some provisions of the Act are due to operate from 1 July 2019 with the remaining provisions due to operate on 1 January 2020. Read more here

News and updates - Relationships and Reproductive Health

Culturally Responsive Health Read the TRUE Relationships and reproductive health Culturally responsive Health Newsletter 3 here.

Grants support transition into employment

The Scanlon Foundation’s annual community grants round for 2019 is open now until 12 September, to fund projects that support the transition of migrants into employment or support practical English literacy. Funding is available up to $25,000, and projects should be located in Brisbane, Inala, Ipswich, Logan, Rockhampton and Townsville local government areas in Queensland. Other LGAs may also be considered.
More information and links to the grant application are available at the Scanlon Foundation website.

Asylum Seeker News

Support for asylum seekers from the legacy caseload

Communify Queensland lead a collaboration of 7 agencies to support people seeking asylum from the legacy caseload in Queensland.

The ASRA Program aims to:
  • Alleviate financial hardship and mental distress
  • Provide case coordination to assist participants to access relevant assistance and achieve greater independence through employment
  • Increase capacity and wellbeing of vulnerable SHEV and TPV holders and their families
  • Consolidate partnerships & coordinate delivery of integrated support that includes vocational training, employment assistance, family & social support, legal support & mental health support.
Read more about what different services offer here.

Lives on hold: Refugees and asylum seekers in the 'Legacy caseload' (2019)

This report by the Australian Human Rights Commission details a range of issues of concern for people in the so-called “Legacy caseload”, a group of approximately 30,000 asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat between 13 August 2012 and 1 January 2014. This report identifies concerns such as:
  • The lack of access to a fair and thorough process for determining their refugee claims;
  • Uncertainty about their visa status and ongoing entitlement to protection for a prolonged period of time;
  • The impact of restrictions on access to family reunion opportunities; and
  • The ongoing risk of arbitrary detention.
Read the full report here.
Read more about asylum seekers and the services available in Queensland here.


New Toolkit to increase participation rates in bowel screening

The kit designed for GPs, Practice Nurses and other Health Professionals to:
  • Inform patients
  • Support patients and staff
  • Change practice systems
Read about it here.
Access Arabic videos and printable resources about bowel screening here.

New website collates resources on Disability and CALD

Find resources and information on CALD communities - Data and statistics | Research and Publications| Tools | CEH produced resources | Translated disability and NDIS resources | Key multicultural disability organisations
See the Centre for Culture Ethnicity and Health website here.

Information about Betel Nut

What do you know about betel nut and its effect on oral health? Read about it here.
The following resources have been recently updated and are available online. More information about Immunisation is available on the Network website here.

Download the Refugee Health Resource Folders for Clinicians and GP Administration here.
If you are a GP Practice interested in receiving hard copy Refugee Health folders, contact your local PHN or
Translated Resources for Patients

Translated Resources for Terminations 

Now that MTOP (medical terminations) and STOP (surgical terminations) have become available to all people in Queensland, communication in relation to the process and medication is highly important for a successful health outcome.  
See the resources here - Medical Terminations (MTOP) and Surgical Terminations (STOP)

Contraception for Women

This new translated factsheet from the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health give an overview of the methods of contraception available in Australia. It is important to choose the one that is right for you.  View them here.

Translated resources about Asthma

New resources from Metro South about drinking tap water


Print Material

Clinical Resources

Education Opportunities


SORRY I DON’T UNDERSTAND.. Engaging interpreters to bridge the communication gap’. 
Discover how, when and why to engage an interpreter and practical tips and sharing of experiences.  Training by QCOSS in Caboolture on September 18th, 2019. See flyer for details.

‘Working with Refugees' -  MDA 

11th of September 2019 8:30am – 3:00pm
This one-day workshop has been developed to provide an in-depth understanding of the unique needs and challenges people from a refugee background face.
More information and register here.

FECCA Conference

The FECCA 2019 conference program is out now! Download it here.

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia biennial conference will be held in Hobart from 10 – 11 October 2019.

3rd National Advancing Community Cohesion Conference – The Way Forward

10 – 13 February 2020
Western Sydney University – Parramatta City Campus
Read about it here.

Community Events and Opportunities

New timetable for the Logan and Ipswich Community Hubs

Variety of activities happening at Community Hubs. View them here. 
For further information on Community Hubs please see the website.

To view other groups happening in your area, check the Groups page on the Network website.
If you would like to add information to this page please email

MOSAIC Multicultural Festival 2019

WHEN: Sunday 13 October 2019 | 12pm to 5pm
WHERE: Celebration Stage, Celebration Lawn & The Gallery, Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane
RSVP: Livia Cornelia 0401 600 955
More info here.

Certificate II in Health Support Services

Multilink have 2 places left for the Certificate II in Health Support Services - Community Work Skills Project Health Support Services Program. This course will equip you to work with people from diverse backgrounds, recognise healthy body systems, respond to behaviors of concern, and transport patients.The program will start on 9th September, 2019 and is free. More information here.

Latest Research

Systemic review of refugee perceptions

A model explaining refugee experiences of the Australian healthcare system: a systematic review of refugee perceptions – Michael Au, Athire Debbie Anandakumar, Robyn Preston, Robin A. Ray & Meg Davis BMC International Health and Human Rights volume 19, Article number: 22 (2019

Pharmacy Research

Pharmacy practitioners’ lived experiences of culture in multicultural Australia: From perceptions to skilled practice -  Jasmina Fejzic,  Michelle Barker Published: June 19, 2019 Read it here.

Appointment Booking processes improved

Equal Access for the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse - Fairfield Hospital, NSW
Read it here.
Experiences of Health Care among Refugee and Asylum Seeker Residents in Regional Victoria - Lisa Bourke, Christina Malatzky and Daniel Terry Read the article here.

We need to raise our voices’: Advice from people of refugee backgrounds living with disabilities and their carers – Foundation House (Aug, 2019)

People from refugee and asylum seeking backgrounds: an open access annotated bibliography (Aug 2019) Sally Baker Refugee Education Special Interest Group

Volunteers wanted

URGENT: Homestay hosts needed for the Learn English Holiday program at the - Sunshine Coast
 Sun 22 – Fri 27 September

Buddies have a large number of people wanting to take part in the Learn English Holiday program and accommodation is needed.

Particularly needed is accommodation for families, although where the family includes young adults it may be possible to have the parents stay separately from their children.  

Bits n Pieces

Telomeres, trauma, and mindfulness on All In The Mind

ABC RN program, All in the Mind, on Sunday 11th August 2019, with Lynne Malcolm discusses research on mindfulness with people from refugee backgrounds in Israel. Listen here.

Listen to a Refugee Health Nurse share her experience

Communicate Podcast with Jacinta Bongiorno, Settlement Health Coordinator shares her experience of working as a Refugee Health Nurse and Settlement Health Coordinator. Listen to the podcast here.

Interview with Dr Munjed Al Muderis

The amazing and heart-warming story of Dr Munjed Al Muderis whose bold new approach to surgery is helping hundreds of Aussie amputees to walk again. Listen to him being interviewed by Andrew Denton here.

Visit a virtual Empathy Museum

UTS’ Virtual Empathy Museum aims to enhance empathy in health care providers. One of the ‘rooms’ tells  Haya's story, a very real and personal account of the refugee journey, developed in partnership with RHS. Take a trip to the Reading Room, Simulation Room, Digital Storytelling Room, and Resources Room to learn more about empathy and cultural competency
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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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