The NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service (MHCS) has received Award for Excellence in Innovation for the Pink Sari Project

2015 SESLHD Winner of iiHub Award for Excellence in Innovation 2015 SESLHD Winner of iiHub Award for Excellence in Innovation

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.