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Spring Issue 2023


MHCS team at the launch of Multicultural Health Week 2023. Photo credit: Monique Perera

Welcome to the Spring edition of Polyglot. The NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service (MHCS) is excited to share information, events, and other opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing of culturally and linguistically diverse communities in 2023.

Celebrating Multicultural Health Week 2023

Thank you to everyone who joined us to launch this year’s Multicultural Health Week theme: Celebrate Culture Through Movement: Every Move Counts (4 – 10 September 2023).

Multicultural Health Week is celebrated across NSW each year to raise awareness of health issues experienced by culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities and explore ways of addressing these issues.

Resources are available in multiple languages to encourage people from CALD backgrounds to participate in physical activities with their family and friends. This year's theme was proudly presented in partnership with Ministry of Health and Cancer Institute NSW.

Gold Quill Showcase and Service Awards 2023

NSW government (DCS, NSW Health and MHCS team representatives) at the Gold Quill Showcase 2023 Awards

The International Association of Business Communicators NSW (IABC NSW) in partnership with the NSW Department of Customer Service (DCS) presented the Gold Quill Awards Showcase to mark this year’s theme: Making a difference through government communications.

On behalf of MHCS, Deputy Director Jesusa Helaratne was honoured to receive the joint awards for the ‘Gold Quill Multicultural Communication – Best of the best’ and the ‘Gold Quill Award of Excellence’ for the following campaigns.

The ‘Gold Quill Multicultural Communication – Best of the best’ joint award was received by the NSW government (DCS, NSW Health and MHCS) for the ‘Let’s Get Vaccinated’ campaign. In addition, the joint award for the ‘Gold Quill Award of Excellence’ was received by the NSW government for the ‘Let’s Do This - NSW COVID-19 booster’ campaign.

In the same month, MHCS Systems Manager, Rajan Manickarajah was honoured to mark his 25 years of exemplary service in the multicultural health communications field with an award from the 2023 SESLHD Service Awards.

Cancer Institute NSW Panel 2023

Guest speakers and facilitators for the Cancer Institute NSW panel

In September 2023, MHCS was invited by the Cancer Institute NSW to facilitate a multicultural communications panel. Panellists Randa Kattan, Dr Ash Malalasekera, Dipti Zachariah, and Juliette Kirkwood spoke passionately about their inspiring work to engage multicultural communities and the importance of this year’s Multicultural Health Week theme: Celebrating Culture Through Movement.


Translations Project Officer – MHCS Farewell 2023

John Alsop

In October 2023, the MHCS team honours the work of Translations Project Officer, John Alsop as he marks his retirement. We thank John Alsop for his years of service and his dedication in coordinating thousands of translated publications in more than sixty languages.

From a long career as a writer for SBS, ABC and radio, he brought his enthusiasm for plain English in communicating simply and effectively. John Alsop has been an incredible colleague. We wish him well on his plans for the future.

For more information about the MHCS translation service, please visit the website.


Celebrating Saffron Day 2023

Saffron Day community representatives wearing orange

For Saffron Day on Sunday 22 October, people around the country are encouraged to wear orange and register their decision to become an organ and tissue donor. Saffron Day celebrates the life of seven year old Deyaan Udani from Western Sydney, who became an organ donor in 2016.

“In order to honour Deyaan’s life, and to encourage others to register their decision to be a donor, we came up with the idea of Saffron Day,” Mr Udani said.

One organ donor can save the lives of as many as seven people and many more can be helped through tissue and eye donation. Register to become a donor through the DonateLife website or through myGov or the Express Plus Medicare app.

For media enquiries, please contact NSW Organ and Tissue Donation Service’s Media and Communications Officer, Ali Gripper.

NEWS AND RESOURCES – Health Translations

Conference guest speakers

Mental Health Month – Information in your language

For Mental Health Month in October, raise awareness around wellbeing in your community by sharing the multilingual wellbeing resources featured in the Multicultural Media Conference hosted in partnership with NSW Health, MHCS and Multicultural NSW on 4 October, 2023.

Visit the Transcultural Mental Health Centre (TMHC) website for a range of mental health resources in multiple languages, including the ‘A practical guide series’ and ‘Consumer Medication Brochures.’ Please note consumer medication brochures are for use by clinicians to work with consumers.

TMHC hosts the Transcultural Mental Health Line, which connects people from CALD communities with experienced clinicians who understand their culture and can communicate in their language.

For information around Mental Health Community Living Supports for Refugees, visit the NSW Health website. For mindfulness audio resources in community languages, visit the MHCS website and the TMHC website.

Find multilingual resources for mental health carers in multicultural communities at the NSW Mental Health Commission website.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Multilingual Resources

A new BreastScreen NSW campaign encourages women to prioritise their health and book in their free mammogram today. The “Breast cancer doesn't wait” campaign reminds women early detection is the key to successful treatment and a full recovery.

“For women aged 50-74, a breast screen every two years is still the best way to detect and treat breast cancer early – before it can be seen or felt,” said Professor Tracey O’Brien, NSW Chief Cancer Officer and CEO, Cancer Institute NSW.

Multilingual resources are available to download from the Breast Screen NSW website.

World Menopause Day – 18 October

18 October is World Menopause Day, an opportunity to increase awareness and understanding of this part of life. The NSW Government Menopause Toolkit has information and resources on perimenopause and menopause to help navigate this natural part of life. The Toolkit has a symptom checker and resources to support individuals and community. Share these in-language resources with your community.

Breastfeeding your Baby – Multilingual resources

Breastfeeding offers babies the best start, but it isn’t always easy. Translated information is available for parents and families. The NSW Health Breastfeeding your Baby page has information on all the support services available for breastfeeding, now available in English, Arabic, Chinese and Vietnamese. Visit the NSW Health website for information, social tiles and videos to share with your community.

Help shape a new online STI & BBV testing service

NSW Health is developing a new state-wide online testing service for STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) and BBVs (Blood-Borne Viruses). They need your valuable input to ensure it meets the diverse needs of the community. People aged 18 years or older from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds across NSW are encouraged to apply. Successful applicants will receive a $100 open gift card for their participation. For more information, visit the NSW Health website.

Training, Opportunities and Professional Development

GambleAware Multicultural Service Vietnamese message

18 October 2023: Research to Practice Forum: Shisha and Vaping No Thanks. The South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) Health Equity Promotion and Prevention Service, in partnership with UNSW and the Cancer Institute NSW present a Research Forum on shisha smoking and vaping. Register here.

19 October 2023: Gambling in migrant communities - Understanding risks from the migration and settlement journey. The GambleAware Multicultural Service and GambleAware Central Sydney invite workers to enhance their understanding of how to address the barriers faced by refugees and newly arrived migrants. Register here.

21 – 22 November 2023: National Multicultural Health and Wellbeing Conference. This inaugural conference is hosted by the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) and the Australian Multicultural Health Collaborative (The Collaborative) in partnership with NSW Health. Register here.

23 November 2023: St Leonards NSW Multicultural Diversity EOL in our ageing population. The Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) aims to improve health professionals’ knowledge, skills and confidence in the palliative approach to care for people with a life-limiting illness. Register here.

23 – 25 November 2023: Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT) National Conference 2023. This year’s theme is Building bridges, strengthening alliances: Translation and interpreting in today's connected world. Register here.



Welcome to this edition of the Polyglot quarterly newsletter. We are constantly working on making your news as targeted and relevant as possible. If you have any questions or suggestions for future topics or campaigns, please send us your feedback and comments through email at:

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NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service
Level 3, 349 Crown St. Surry Hills NSW 2010

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