Spring Issue 2020

MHCS Featured News

Welcome to the Spring edition of Polyglot. The NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service Annual Report 2019-20 is now available online.

SBS News featured the collaborative work of NSW Health, NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service and Local Health Districts to encourage COVID-19 testing. Testing clinics include local community centres and places of worship.

For current translations on COVID-19 information from multicultural health services across the sector, visit the NSW Health page or the Multicultural Health Communication Service  MHCS Publications page.

To link your translated health resources to the MHCS website, register and submit here.

Multicultural Health Week 2020

The Multicultural health Week theme for 2020 is ‘Health Literacy and Safe Use of Medicines’. The extension of the Health Literacy theme allows for MHCS and key stakeholders to build upon work undertaken in previous years. Multicultural Health Week is supported by the NSW Ministry of Health.

This year’s Multicultural Health Week ran from 7 to 13 September with the launch recording available online. Multilingual resources include: Safe use of medicine video (multilingual), Safe use of medicine factsheet (multilingual), and Social media post suggestions (multilingual)

Shisha No Thanks – Online Module Launch

The Shisha No Thanks online training module is now available. This free module is for community workers or anyone working with multicultural communities or youth services. Participants will receive a downloadable and printable certificate upon completion.

The module covers three key areas: • harms of shisha (waterpipe) smoking • respectful conversations about the negative health impacts of waterpipe smoking • referral options for clients and community members 

Shisha No Thanks is the recipient of the Keeping People Healthy Award - Shisha No Thanks - Priority Populations SESLHD 2020 Healthcare Awards.

Understanding Health and Healthcare Survey

The NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service (MHCS) is helping improve mental health services for people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD) in NSW. This survey is open to consumers and community workers from CALD backgrounds. We need to hear from you. Please complete an online survey.

Deadline for surveys: 30 September 2020

To find out more about the project contact: Michael.camit@health.nsw.gov.au



Note: Additional languages for translated COVID-19 resources are currently being developed by NSW Health and Local Health Districts. 

For future updates, please visit the NSW Health page or MHCS Publications page.

Wearing a mask can help stop the spread of COVID-19

Posters on how to wear a mask available in 34 languages: Arabic, Armenian, Assyrian, Dari, Dinka, Farsi, Filipino, French, Greek, Gujarati, HindiIndonesian, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Kurdish-Kurmanji, Lao, Maltese, Mongolian, Nepali, Pashto, Farsi, Punjabi, Chinese-Simplified, Sinhalese, Spanish, Tamil, Chinese-Traditional, Thai, Tongan, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese, and English.

NSW Health strongly recommends you wear a mask

Posters on where to wear a mask available in 34 languages: Arabic, Assyrian, Bangla, Chinese-Simplified, Chinese-Traditional, Dari, Dinka, Filipino, French, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Kurdish, Lao, Maltese, Mongolian, Nepali, Pashto, Punjabi, Sinhalese, Spanish, Tamil, Thai, Tongan, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese, and English.

Testing at public COVID-19 clinics is free   

No Medicare card is requirved to get tested at a public COVID-19 clinic. You must self-isolate until you get your results. Social media graphics are available in 37 languages: Arabic, Armenian, Assyrian, Bangla, Burmese, Croatian, Dari, Dinka, English, Filipino, French, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kurdish-Kurmanji, Korean, Lao, Macedonian, Maltese, Mongolian, Nepali, Portuguese, Polish, Punjab, Russian, Samoan, Serbian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Tamil, Tongan, Traditional Chinese, Thai, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.

Look after your mental health during COVID-19

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can talk to a trained counsellor any time by calling the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Line: 1800 512 348. For a free telephone interpreter, call 131 450. Posters available in 37 languages: Arabic, Armenian, Assyrian, Bangla, Burmese, Croatian, Dari, Dinka, English, Farsi, French, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Kurdish-Kurmanji, Lao, Macedonian, Mongolian, Nepali, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Serbian, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Traditional Chinese, Thai, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.

Important video messages on COVID-19 from the NSW Government

Bilingual worker guides on how to prevent COVID-19. Developed in partnership with local health districts. Available in 14 languages: Arabic, Dinka, Fijian-Hindi, Hazaragi, Indonesian, Karen, Khmer, Lao, Nepali, Rohingya, Samoan, Swahili, Vietnamese and English.

Get Tested – Social Media Tiles

Get tested social media tiles featuring doctors from multicultural communities. Available in 11 languages: Chinese-Simplifed, Chinese-Traditional, Filipino, Hindi, Punjabi, Vietnamese, Tamil, Sinhalese, Gujarati, Nepali, and English

Factsheets – Arthritis, Asthma, Cardio, Diabetes, Stroke and COVID-19

Factsheets about COVID-19 and Arthritis, Asthma, Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, Stroke and COVID-19. Available in 7 languages: ArabicGreekItalianSimplified ChineseTraditional Chinese, Vietnamese and English.

How to Wear a Mask – Multilingual Videos

Video guides on how to wear a mask are available in 7 languages: Tibetan, Punjabi, Mandarin, Korean, Karen, Hindi, and English.

Get Tested Video – Multilingual Messages

Get tested video messages available in 4 languages: Arabic, Filipino, Mandarin and English,

Physical Distancing – Multilingual Videos

Multilingual physical distancing videos available in 4 languages: Filipino, Kurdish, Mandarin, and Cantonese.

Food and COVID-19

Tips for shopping and handling food safely from the South Western Sydney Local Health District is available in 4 languages: Arabic, Polish, Vietnamese and English.

Toby from Headpsace on Mental Health – Bilingual Videos

International sudent Toby from Headspace on taking care of your mental health. Available in 2 languages: Cantonese and English.

SBS Multilingual Coronavirus Portal

Access the latest COVID-19 information in over 70 languages at SBS.

COVID-19 Glossary of Terms for Translators

Polaron have developed a COVID-19 glossary of terms in 44 languages to assist translators and organisations in delivering messages that are consistent and accurate.

NEWS AND RESOURCES - Health Translations

Expecting a Baby – Translated brochures

The Continence Foundation of Australia’s translated Expecting a Baby brochure explains how women are at risk of bladder and bowel control problems during pregnancy and after childbirth. Available in 30 languages.

Chemotherapy Safety at Home – Multilingual factsheets

The Cancer Institute has developed the eviQ factsheet ‘Chemotherapy Safety at Home’ now available in 11 languages.

Translated Contact Details for Public Dental services

The Centre for Oral Health NSW brochure provides telephone numbers and eligibility information for NSW Public Dental Service in 11 languages.

Coming Home with Bipolar - Bilingual booklet for families and carers

Bipolar Australia’s Coming Home with Bipolar’ is a practical booklet which helps to close the gap at times of diagnosis/discharge from hospital, educating all carers of people with bipolar. Available in Chinese and English.

Older People's Mental Health Service – Bilingual Booklet

The information brochure about the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District’s Older People's Mental Health Service is available in English and Karen.

Training Opportunities and Professional Development

21 September 2020:  NSW Health COVID-19 webinars with Dr Kerry Chant for health professionals from Pacific Islander and Vietnamese communities. Register to attend.

24 September 2020: The effects of discrimination and mental health webinar run in partnership with Muslim Womens Australia and Anti-Discrimination NSW. Register to attend.

29 September 2020: Working Effectively With New and Emerging Communities hosted by Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra. This training will equip you with skills to work with the needs of recently arrived refugees. Register to attend.

October 2020: National CALD Cancer Screening Project by The University of Melbourne, Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health, Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Heath and VCS Foundation. To participate, submit your EOI.

20-21 November 2020: Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators online 2020 conference will address challenges and opportunities in the TIS space. Register to attend.

Webinar recordings available at Polaron: Effective engagement of multicultural audiences in the aged care sector: Impactful messaging in times of COVID-19 and Making multilingual COVID-19 resources more accessible.


Chan, L., (2020) Review of Evaluation Metrics Used in Digital and Traditional Tobacco Control Campaigns JMIR Publications

Kearns, R., et al. (2018) Shaping interventions to address waterpipe smoking in Arabic-speaking communities in Sydney, Australia: a qualitative study BMC Public Health

Morris, D., et. al. (2020) Factors associated with utilisation of health care interpreting services and the impact on length of stay and cost: A retrospective cohort analysis of audit data Health Promotion Journal of Australia

NRRAG (2020) COVID-19 National Refugee Community Consultation Outcomes Report National Refugee-led Advisory and Advocacy Group

Smith, A., et al. (2020) Clinical trials knowledge and attitudes of Vietnamese‐ and Anglo‐Australian cancer patients: A cross‐sectional study Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology

SSI (2020) Western Sydney Community Pulse Report on COVID-19 Settlement Services International


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
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Punt Road Gladesville NSW 2111
Website: http://www.mhcs.health.nsw.gov.au/
Email: seslhd-mhcs@health.nsw.gov.au

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