The NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service (MHCS) has received Award for Excellence in Innovation for the Pink Sari Project
The Pink Sari Project is a community-based initiative which aims to increase breast screening rates amongst Sri Lankan and Indian women aged 50 to 74 in NSW. The project comprises a multi-pronged approach involving media, community engagement, community champions, bilingual talks, cultural resource development, group bookings, as well as strategies to strengthen the cultural competency of BreastScreen services. In addition, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from UTS are involved in the planning and evaluation.
The project is one of the first to switch from a ‘top-down’ to ‘bottom-up’ approach, and invite the community to take full initiative of implementing and managing targeted activities. E.g. A number of Sikh temples in NSW have actively promoted the project and its messages during their gatherings; this is the first time a non-religious issue has been raised in this setting.Since the project’s launch in September 2014 to February 2015, there has been a marked increase in breast screen participation for women 50-79 who speak Tamil or Hindi in NSW; this is indication that the approaches undertaken have been effective and may be expanded not only into associated areas, but also adapted for future initiatives.