Multicultural and refugee health
South Western Sydney is characterised by its cultural diversity. With such a diverse population brings a range of different health challenges and priorities which vary between each cultural community. Find out more about priority health issues in culturally and lingusitically diverse (CALD) communities, information on refugee services, multicultural resources and more.
Priority health issues in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities in South Western Sydney
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Australia. In 2003, it was estimated that tobacco use was responsible for more than 15,500 deaths. Discover information on the damage smoking is doing to your body and quit smoking success stories.
Carrying extra weight, especially around the middle area can increase your risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and some types of cancer. For more information on how you can achieve a healthy weight click the links below:
Diabetes is the leading cause of early death, Coronary Heart Disease, stroke, kidney disease and blindness. To assess your risk of developing diabetes and find out more information.
Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, being inactive and being overweight are all risk factors for developing heart disease. For more information on heart disease.
Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
Hepatitis is an infection of the liver which can lead to liver damage and liver cancer. Many people who have the virus don’t know that they are infected. For more information on Hepatitis:
A number of these health conditions and behaviours can be improved by changes in lifestyle.
Having a sedentary lifestyle, high accessibility to convenience foods and not being able to afford healthy foods and exercise are significant concerns, as are language barriers and lack of knowledge on healthy eating, which all contribute to these problems.
For more information on health, diet and nutrition, exercise, and quitting smoking visit: Multicultural Health Communication service
NSW Health Get Health Information and Coaching service: Offers free and confidential telephone-based advice from qualified health professionals on healthy eating, physical activity and achieving and maintain a healthy weight.
Website: http://www.gethealthynsw.com.au/program | Telephone: 1300 806 258
NSW Multilingual Quitline provides free, confidential and individually-tailored service telephone advice to assist smokers in the quitting process. The Multilingual Quitline is managed by Quitline NSW in partnership with the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service and funded by the Cancer Institute NSW
Immigrant Women’s Health Services works to address numerous issues affecting immigrant and refugee women including physical health and wellbeing, mental health and trauma, legal rights and justice, housing, welfare and entitlements, education and training, language and literacy, social inclusion, healthy parenting and drug and alcohol issues
NSW Refugee Health Programs provides a range of services aimed to protect and promote the health of refugees living in NSW:
NSW Refugee Health Service provide specific programs to meet the needs of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and refugees
Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) provides access to phone and on-site interpreting services in over 160 languages and dialects.
Who are refugees?
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees defines a refugee as:
“A person who is outside his or her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail him or herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution” UNHCR, 1951, p.3.
Settlement Service International
Settlement Services International (SSI) is a leading community-based not-for-profit organisation that provides a range of services in the areas of refugee settlement, asylum seeker assistance, housing, multicultural foster care, disability support and employment services in NSW.
SSI is committed to ensuring that people in vulnerable communities in NSW are supported and resourced to fulfill their potential as members of the Australian community.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. It also has a mandate to help stateless people.
Since 1950, the agency has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives. Today, a staff of more than 9,300 people in 123 countries continues to help and protect millions of refugees, returnees, internally displaced and stateless people.
Australian Refugee Data
The NSW Refugee Health Service was set up by the NSW Department of Health in 1999 to help meet some of these challenges. We aim to promote the health of people from a refugee background living in NSW by assisting refugees, and the health professionals who work with them. Services provided include:
- early health assessments by refugee health nurses for newly arrived refugees
- education for health service providers on refugee health and related issues;
- a link between agencies working with refugees and health services;
- targeted health promotion programs for refugees
- medical assessments and referrals through GP clinics, particularly for recent arrivals;
- research in refugee health; and
- advocation for health policies and appropriate services for refugees.
1/157-161 George St, Liverpool NSW 2170
Phone: (02) 8778 0770
Refugee Council of Australia
The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is the national umbrella body for refugees and the organisations and individuals who support them. It has more than 200 organisational and over 900 individual members.
Formed in November 1981, RCOA is a non-profit, non-government organisation registered as an incorporated association in the Australian Capital Territory. It is funded through contributions from its members and by project grants from philanthropic bodies and government agencies. The priority activities for RCOA are set by its members, as represented by an elected Board.