Welcome to the Winter 2018 edition of Polyglot!

We are excited to bring you updates from campaigns and projects, translations, health resources, and features from other health networks.

In this issue:

  • Feature: Declaration from the 1st World Congress on Migration, Ethnicity, Race and Health
  • Feature: Refugee Health Week 2018 launched with an art exhibition at Liverpool
  • What's new with Translations - how to avoid additional costs/conflict in translation
  • Ongoing campaigns : 10,000 Italian Roses campaign: Ending with a bang, Quit and Win launch at World No Tobacco Day, Widows of Parramatta Web Series, Mental Health Literacy with the Indian Women Community
  • What's the latest resource available in your language?
  • Media release from the Sydney Children's Hospital Networks

We hope you enjoy this edition of Polylot.  We are looking to continously improve our content, so please send us your feedback or suggestions, or if you would like us to promote your campaign or feature your organization in our next issue, please email us at seslhd-mhcs@health.nsw.gov.au.  For future issues of Polyglot, we hope to showcase other multicultural health and non government agencies who are our partners in bringing projects and campaigns to CALD communities.

 In other news, we are excited to launch the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service 5-year Strategic Plan in the next few months so keep an eye out for this!

All the best,

Michael Camit
Acting Director 

Peter Todaro retires from MHCS

After 30 years working in various sectors of Health, Peter Todaro has made the decision to retire due to health reasons.

Peter has dedicated 30 years working with culturally diverse (CALD) communities in the areas of health management, service development, research, communication and consultancy - for the past 14 years as Director of NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service.  Peter has published in the areas of alcohol, other drugs, HIV and AIDS and marketing to CALD communities.  HE is highly regarded as a manager and a contributor to Multicultural Health across NSW.

He has successfully led three state wide services in the area of multicultural health: the NSW Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service, the Drug and Alcohol Multicultural Education Centre and currently the MHCS.  Peter also has been an active member of the Italian community and worked for many years with the Italian Association of Assistance (Co.As.It).

Under Peter's leadership,  the MHCS expanded to undertake highly effective state-wide and national projects int he area of health communication and social marketing.  This included the establishment of the first multilingual Quitline in Australia, dementia research in conjunction with University of NSW, international and national award winning innovative breast screening campaigns such as The Pink Sari project and 10,000 Italian Roses, and other award winning creative initiatives working towards developing new ways of engaging CALD communities.

We wish Peter well and sincerely thank him for his leadership and the difference he has made in the health system and the community.

A farewell function is being planned and details will be announced when a date is set.

Feature : Edinburgh Declaration 19th May 2018 on Migration, Ethnicity, Race and Health

The 1st World Congress on Migration, Ethnicity, Race and Health with over 700 participants from over 50 countries, was a landmark in the field of Health, bringing together different disciplines across the globe with the aim of fostering unity and cross fertilisation of ideas through an integrated dialogue on issues related to migration, ethnicity, race, indigenous and Roma populations.

MHCS Acting Director Michael Camit was invited to be one of the chairs at the World Congress.

The Congress concluded with a declaration by participants:

We, the participants of the 1st World Congress on Migration, Ethnicity and Race and Health from over 50 countries, gathered in Edinburgh from 17th to 19th May 2018 DECLARE:

Movement of people within and across countries is, has been, and always will be an essential ingredient of human survival, success and prosperity

Migration and diversity offer many benefits globally and within countries, when the associated and often momentous challenges are overcome

Health and wellbeing are influenced enormously by the historical and political context, the composition and changing nature of the population and the organization of services in a society

Integrated dialogue on issues related to migration, ethnicity, race, indigenous and Roma populations is vital

The way people are defined and categorized by themselves and others is often a power struggle with implications for civic society, research, policy and practice and requires continuing debate

Racism, xenophobia and prejudice, discrimination, exclusion and exploitation damages the mental and physical health of individuals and groups, both minorities and majorities alike

Attention is required to meet the needs of the most vulnerable groups including survivors of torture, trafficked people, migrants in irregular situations, refugees and asylum seekers, and to prevent violence against women and girls.

The study of variations and differences in disease patterns and distributions provides essential scientific knowledge and important lessons for health policy and practice

An interdisciplinary approach is essential for understanding and tackling ethnic and racial inequities and ensuring sound ethical foundations for actions and subsequent policies

Investment in migrant and ethnic minority health and health care provides many benefits, including those going beyond health itself, and exceeds the costs incurred


  • Eliminating barriers to access to healthcare and promoting protection of health of all people on the move, including those in an irregular situation, needs to be prioritised
  • The full participation of migrants, ethnic minorities, indigenous populations and Roma in policy development, service planning, health care delivery, and research & evaluation is vital 
  • Relevant and appropriate data are required urgently for policy makers and service providers to tackle inequities 
  • Harmonization of, and agreement on, definitions and concepts should be sought by building on the consensus achieved at MERH 2018 
  • Strengthening collaboration between institutions, organizations and countries aimed improving the health of migrants and ethnic minorities 
  • A Global Society should integrate academic, professional and community work on health and health care in this field

 Fo more information, visit the congress website http://www.merhcongress.com/

Feature : Refugee Health Week launched with an art exhibition at Liverpool

Article submitted by Martin Silveira, Refugee Health Service

This year the NSW Refugee Health Service launch Refugee Week 2018 at Liverpool Hospital on the 19 June. The event was opened by the Chief Executive of South Western Sydney Local Health District, Amanda Larkin and with an Acknowledgment by uncle Malcolm Maccol from the Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council.  

At the event the Director, Priority Programs Unit, Health and Social Policy Branch, NSW Ministry of Health, Louise Farrell, spoke about the public health response to refugee settlement in NSW noting that the Ministry of Health has had a long standing commitment supporting the health needs of refugee’s settling in NSW. The Director, Community Paediatrics, South Western Sydney Local Health District, Dr Shanti Raman gave a passionate and inspiring speech on the strength and resilience of refugee children and parents who she has worked with, and highlighted DVD resource “Multicultural Expressions of Parenting Love’ which can be found on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCj1QWVBilc&feature=youtu.be

The event was also fortunate to feature the voices of two amazing people for whom he refugee experience not only served as critical moment in their lives, but also a source of strength which they use to champion the rights of others with a refugee experience.

Dr. Sarah Afram graduated from medicine from the University of Mosul in 2016 and unexpectedly became an refugee due to the war in Iraq. Dr Afram spoke passionately about the reality of fleeing from Iraqi, her drive to survive and restart her life in Australia and her desire for the Australian community to understand that refugees are human beings, are worthy of same rights, respect and dignity as all global citizens and that the refugee experience is one aspect of a person and that it does not fully define a person’s whole life. Moving forward Dr Afram has worked with the Nepean Blue Mountain Local Health Districts Multicultural Health Service who have successfully supported her and her fellow doctors and other health professional into employment in the region.

Yuhana Nashmi is a local artist who was born in Baghdad and moved to Australia via Jordan in 2000. Yuhana was trained as “Tarmida” in Mandaean tradition and participated in a large ethnographic fieldwork study on the Mandaean community as part of a cultural preservation program run by the university of Exeter (UK) and Leiden University (Netherlands). In his talk Yuhana gave a creative and though-provoking presentation on how we think about refugee’s, with a particular emphasis on people who have had similar experiences and how this has motivated him to raise the awareness and experience of some of the most vulnerable.

The event concluded with an update from the Community Engagement Coordinator, NSW Refugee Health Service, Martin Silveira, who highlighted the work that has been undertaken with humanitarian entrants in NSW, particularly 202 visa entrants and their proposers. In the nine months the project has been running, it has reached and conducted a needs assessment, produced a resource “Important Information for Proposers: Health checks for newly arrived refugees” (available in English and Arabic), participated in community events, provided health education sessions to community groups and together with SSI, conducted orientation sessions with Iraqi and Syrian 202 visa holders and proposers.  NSW Refugee Health Service is also running a PhotoVoice project in Fairfield and Bankstown with the Multicultural Health Communication Service in the succeeding weeks. 

An Art exhibition with pieces created by people who have had a refugee experience concluded the event, the exhibition featured over 30 paintings, sculptures, drawing, metal and wood work, embroidery and masks. A catalogue of works is available by contacting Community Engagement Coordinator, NSW Refugee Health Service, Martin Silveira on (02) 8781 8181

What's new with Translations?
How to avoid additional costs/conflict in translation

While most people know that translation is a complex business that is best left to professionals, little are aware the client actually plays a big part in ensuring a good outcome, smooth transaction and minimal spending.

A quote for a translation is the perceived cost to supply a translated file that reflects the source document and the originally communicated requirements at the time of the quote. Anything that does not fall within this description is likely to cost more and it is always easier to include any additional factors in the beginning rather than after the work is done.

Here are some ways to get the most out of your translations:
TEST public documents before getting them translated. Ask likely users if they think it is well written, easy to understand and comprehensive. Is there too much text? What are their reactions to the different aspects of the material? Ask bi-llingual readers of the prospective target language(s) if they find anything lacking or inappropriate. Many translation services offer professional testing and can supply a package deal if you request more than one service.

SIMPLIFY any complex messages, localised expressions or jargon to eliminate confusion and ensure that the translations reflect the message(s) you are trying to get across. Note puns and slogans that are catchy in one language may not translate into another.

CHECK the source file before you send it to the translating body. Make sure there are no wrong or repeated words, the paragraphs are in the right place, the logos are up to date and the content is accurate, complete and approved. The working file provided for typesetting will need to be identical to the file that was supplied for quote.

It is useful to keep in mind that translators and designers often have a minimal call out fee, which means if any changes to the text or design are conveyed after a quote is approved – even if it is just a ‘small request’ - the rate for the additional cost can be higher than if the request was included in the initial bulk quote. If in doubt, always confirm with the service provider whether your final documents/requirements are reflected in the quote and if not, ask for a revised quote before proceeding.

For quotes, community testing and translation inquiries, please email Translations Project Officer Caroline Chen at caroline.chen@health.nsw.gov.au

Ongoing Campaigns
10,000 Italian Roses: coming to a suburb near you!

There has been a flurry of activities over the last 3 months, wrapping up the 10,000 Italian Roses Project.

Aim? Target the 10,006 Italian women aged 50 - 74 living in NSW and encourage them to go and have their regular mammograms!

The final stages of the project commenced on Mother's Day with the "Be Mammoni for Mammograms" component of the campaign. The campaign garnered support from well known Italian identities such as: Cossima De Vito; Alfie Arcuri; James Liotta and Josh Sama (My Kitchen Rules 2018 Semi-finalist), who all encouraged their family and friends to be mammoni (a mother's boy/girl) and tag a friend to help spread the word.

MHCS has been supporting local libraries, encouraging them to hold information sessions targeting local Italian community members. An example is the information morning held at Griffith Library on 31st May 2018.

As usual BreastScreen NSW services have been a huge support and assisted with talks and education sessions in: Killarney Vale, Willoughby and the Morning Tea event at the Marconi Club, Bossley Park. We also received more great input from Illawara Shoalhaven Local Health District assisting us in our presentation to the Warrawong Women's Health Group.

Last but by no means least the project has had great coverage in the media gaining a spot on SBS News as well as Italian radio interviews in A Touch of Italy with our Bi-lingual Project Officer.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the amazing breast cancer survivors who have generously shared their time and their stories to help spread the important messages of this campaign to the Italian community.

Final results of the projects impact on increasing the rates of regular mammograms in the Italian community will be available in the next issue of Polyglot. Stay posted!

Ciao for now.

Ongoing Campaigns
Quit and Win launched on World No-Tobacco Day

Quitting smoking is easier with a buddy!

Research shows that China has approximately 350 million smokers. Of these, around 1 million people die each year from smoking related diseases. It is anticipated that this number will increase considerably over the coming decades as the tobacco industry increasingly shifts its marketing to developing countries (Jiang & Beaudoin, 2016).

China consumes about 40% of the world’s cigarettes while Chinese males have a smoking rate of over 62%. In Australia, the latest statistics from Cancer Institute NSW indicates that among the Chinese speaking communities in NSW, men have a smoking rate of over 20%, nearly 6% above that of national average.

The Quit & Win Campaign is jointly organised by Chinese Australian Services Society (CASS) and NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service (MHCS). The aim of the project is to reduce the smoking rate of the Chinese community in NSW.

One of the key factors influencing people's decision to quit smoking is the influence from family and friends. Smoker receiving support from others is a key feature of the campaign. If the participant can stop smoking with the help of their supporter during the campaign period (4 weeks), the successful team will enter a lucky draw to potentially win a 3-night holiday within NSW for both the participant and support person.

The launch of the Quit and Win competition was held on World No Tobacco Day (31 May 2018).

Visit the Quit and Win website for more details and "Like" the Quit and Win Facebook page to keep updated with events and promotions related to this campaign.

Contact us for more information:
Quit & Win Info Line: 0419 696 425 (Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm)
Email: info@quitandwin.com.au

Ongoing Campaigns
Widows of Parramatta web series launched as part of the Organ and Tissue Donation campaign

The NSW Organ and Tissue Donation Service (OTDS) has been tasked with implementing the NSW Government Plan 2012: Increasing Organ Donation in NSW.  NSW OTDS engaged MHCS to address gaps, myths and misconceptions about organ and tissue donation in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

Widows of Parramatta highlights the story of three Arab Australian widows to kick-start conversations on organ and tissue donation in the Arab Australian community.

The 5-part web series explores the friendship of three elderly Lebanese-Australian widows, Layla Kisrwani, Jamilie Joseph and Genevieve (Jenny) Khawaji. They have been friends and neighbours for 50 years in Parramatta.  The series follows them as they discuss their lives while drinking Arabic coffee, cleaning their husband's headstones and rolling vine leaves.  The message of organ and tissue donation is subtly implied in each of the conversations as they three women navigate through family and cultural traditions.

MHCS will be conducting outreach and pomotion of the web series through bloggers, film critics and influencers.as well as community organizations in NSW to host screenings in the succeeding months.

You can view all 5 episodes on Youtube playlist: http://bit.ly/WidowsofParramattaPlaylist

Join the conversation on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/widowsofparramatta

Join the Australian Organ Donor Register by registering your donation decision to save lives as an organ and tissue donor https://register.donatelife.gov.au/decide

Ongoing Campaigns
Mental Health Literacy Project with Indian Women

Through a seires of consultations by the Mental Health Commission, women from Indian backgrounds were identified as priority group for increasing literacy on mental health issues.

Partnering with key Indian women organizations in NSW, MHCS embarked on the mental health literacy project in collaboration with the Mental Health Commission to raise awareness about the importance of mental health within the Indian community.

Empowering communities to share their insights as well as gather evidence-based research, MHCS ran a skill buildling workshop for Indian female community leaders from organisations including Pink Sari Inc., SAHELI, Haathi in the Room, Tamil Women Development Group, in collaboration with Australian Television, Film and Radio School (AFTRS) and Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). The women were trained in media interviewing and video/photo skills using smartphones.  This skills training approach adopted a participatory technique called Photovoice which provides participants with tools to contextualise and definie issues in ways that are culturally relevant.  The women were given time to take photos and/or shoot videos to present back as a starting point for discussion of mental health issues through their eyes and to further refine elements of the video/photos for this initiative.  The majority of the women particpants felt that they had limitations to voice and communicate mental health issues to family and friends.

"Never really opened up to anybody, because my initial attempts to open up weren’t taken seriously, or maybe were not understood by my family. I kept blaming myself for the situations in the name of exam phobia, inferiority complex, depressed at unreciprocated friendship and love, fear of low performance." - Participant

"The inferiority complex that it caused to me during my teens was very significant in my life. My confidence was hit so badly that I never for once thought I was beautiful. I realise now, that lost in that complex I have just not enjoyed the joys childhood that had in store for me. And, this paved way to depression, my haunting dark shadow." - Participant

The result of the women's inspiring and emotional works was showcased as posters at the Campaigning for Change workshop held on the 17th June at the Novotel in Parramatta.  The workshop allowed for the participants to share photos and stories of the 3-weeks documenting their individual experiences relating to mental health.  The workshop program also included presentations on social issues campaigns in the Indian community by Ms. Amrit Versha, a case study presentation on youth mental health by Ms Pritika Desai and a round table discussion tackling how to engage communities to address mental health issues.

The Photovoice participants say they felt empowered after going through the experience which has helped them see their own journeys through a different perspective.  The exercise has helped them be more confident in voicing their emotions and inner voice, which made them feel ready and open to share conversations with others.

"Awareness and acceptance are very essential while dealing with such cases." - Participant

"Remember it is only an illness like any other. So please take the stigma out of it. Open up and get help. You are living in Australia. I am a living proof that a person with mental illness can find love and lead a normal life, because of the love, acceptance and medication." - Participant

"The first effective step to pull myself out of depression has been to step out of my house. The minute I go out, I am forced by myself to enjoy the beauty of nature and mingle with it. Watching the birds chirping, or feeling the wind pass by, or the leaves rustle, or just gazing at the starry sky, or a casual conversation with someone across the road, or any small act to divert my mind, is all that I need to ignite the end of a gloomy mind" - Participant

A final "show and tell" forum scheduled on the 8th of July will showcase all of the women's works - photos and video stories. All the information gathered through this mental health literacy project aims to contribute to building evidence, good practice and identifying gaps in the area of mental health which culturally and liguistically diverse communities.

For more information about this campaign, please contact project lead Jesusa Helaratne at jesusa.helaratne@health.nsw.gov.au

Ongoing Campaigns
NSW Multicultural Health Week slated on the 3rd - 9th September 2018

Multicultural Health Week is an annual state-wide event held in September that provides a platform to raise the importance of health in CALD communities.  It also provices an opportunity to focus on a particular health issue and promote related resources during the week-long celebration.

This year, we received 15 theme suggestions which were submitted via an online survey.

After two rounds of consultations, "Health Literacy" came out as the most preferred theme.  Health literacy is a critical element that enables people to exert control over their health and their health care.  Research has clearly linked low levels of health literacy, directly and indirectly, with poor health outcomes, poor health care utilisation, increased barriers to care and early death around the world.  It has been suggested that increasing health literacy will help reduce costs through prevention of illness and chronic disease.  Multicultural Health Week will be from the 3rd to 9th September this year.

Watch out for more information through announcements in our website and Facebook page.

New publications: What's the latest resource available in your language?

The MHCS website has been updated with 2 new resources in a total of 17 languages (print ready PDF) for this quarter. Click on title for a link to the resource.

Postnatal Cue Cards
Interpreter Required Card (Swahili & Kurdish)

All these resources and more are available to download in language through the MHCS website. MHCS also has a YouTube page with video coverage from various campaigns and projects available to view here.

For more information about uploading your resources onto our website please email seslhd-mhcs@health.nsw.gov.au or call (02) 8753 5047.

Preventing burns and protecting kids this winter

Media Release from the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

June 2018 – Experts across Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network are urging parents and caregivers to be extra vigilant around hot surfaces this Winter to prevent scald and contact burns in children.

Last Winter, 510 children were treated across The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick for new burn injuries, with the majority of burns caused by hot drinks and foods, including soups and noodles.

Hot liquids or steam are the most common causes of burns, followed by contact and flame burns. These injuries can potentially be very serious and can cause lifelong scarring, especially if not treated correctly.

Fourteen-year-old William suffered burns to his face, arms, stomach and leg after an aerosol can explosion in his backyard fire pit two years ago. With burns to 9% of his body, William underwent multiple surgeries to clean and dress his wounds, including skin grafts to one arm.

“It was a horrible incident that no family should have to go through,” said William’s Mum, Natalie. “I believe fire safety should be a priority for the whole family. Education in the potentially severe outcomes of playing with fire or hot liquids can prevent these sorts of incidents from happening to other children.”

Head of the Burns Unit, Dr John Harvey says these accidents can happen in a second and applying the correct first-aid as soon as possible is vital.

“Burns are some of the most common childhood injuries. Toddlers are the group most at risk simply because they are curious and they move quickly and unpredictably so they often manage to reach hot items or surfaces, but the majority of these incidents are preventable.”

“The first aid approach can have a big impact but many adults do not know the correct first-aid procedure for burns.

Dr Harvey said the only proven effective first aid for burns is 20 minutes of cool running water. Care should be taken to cool only the burn and not the whole child (which can lead to hyperthermia).

“If a burn occurs, the first step in treatment should always be cool running water.”

“Using cool running water on the burn up to three hours after the incident can reduce the thickness of the burn as well as the time a burn will take to heal,” Dr Harvey said.

How you can prevent scalds in children

  • Supervise young children at all times when they are in or around the kitchen and bathroom
  • Keep hot food and drinks and all kitchen appliances out of reach of young children
  • Take care when serving or walking with hot drinks when young children are around
  • Check the temperature of the water before putting a young child in the bath.

How you can prevent other common burns in children

  • Do not throw aerosols into a campfire or add accelerants of any type
  • Always supervise children near a campfire
  • Keep all electrical equipment which heat up out of reach of children, including heaters, kettles, irons and hair straighteners. Unplug after use and store away from children
  • Store matches and lighters in a locked cabinet or where children can’t reach them
  • Install a heat resistant guard around heaters or fireplaces and secure to the wall or floor
  • Only use a treadmill when young children are not in the room, install a safety guard around it and unplug after use
  • Closely supervise children around barbeques and do not use flammable liquids
  • Install smoke alarms on all levels of your home and close to bedrooms.

If your child has suffered a burn

  • Use cool running water on the burn for 20 minutes
  • Remove clothing and jewellery, if possible
  • Call 000 or seek medical help if you are unsure
  • Never use ice, iced water, cream, gel, toothpaste or butter on a burn as they can make the burn worse.

For further information on burns prevention, visit the Kids Health website at www.kidshealth.org.au/burns-prevention

Media Contact: Sheri Locmayon P: (02) 9845 3572 E: sherilyn.locmayon@health.nsw.gov.au

"Keep your language.  Love its sounds, its modulations, its rhythm.  But try to march together with men of different languages, remote from your own, who wish like for a more just and human world." - Helder Camara, Spiral of Violence

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Website: http://www.mhcs.health.nsw.gov.au/
 Email: seslhd-mhcs@health.nsw.gov.au

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