Ensuring culturally diverse communities aren’t left behind on the road out of COVID

“We are always engaged after there is a problem – never upfront. The damage that has been done is quite severe on the ground and there is a lot of feeling that this is racist”- Randa Kattan, CEO of the Arab Council Australia

Croakey published a comprehensive summary of the think tank workshop hosted by the UNSW School of Population Health and organised by my colleague A/Prof Holly Seale. It features some inspiring practical activities led by culturally diverse communities, and the findings of research from across Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria.

“This current pandemic again highlights that there is a critical need to ensure services, communication and efforts and other pandemic strategies are designed and delivered in a culturally responsive way,” she said. Seale stressed collaboration with people from CALD backgrounds, including refugee communities, was critical to improving future pandemic plans as well as continuing ongoing COVID-19 activities.

Engage and empower: ensuring culturally diverse communities aren’t left behind on the road out of COVID

Still time to register for Monday’s webinar on Enhancing communication and engagement amongst people from CALD communities with public health strategies

There’s still time to register for this webinar organised by the NSW Multicultural Communication Service and UNSW:

Enhancing communication and engagement amongst people from CALD communities with public health strategies: Lessons learnt & gaps remaining

Mon, September 20, 2021, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM AEST

Please note that the later workshops are now full, but people are very welcome to attend the webinar from 11am-12pm.

A framework for preferred practices in conducting culturally competent health research in a multicultural society

It was a real privilege to work with my colleagues Lisa Woodland, Ilse Blignault and Cathy O’Callaghan on this paper.

All research takes place within broader systems of gender and sociopolitical environments [29, 30]. We do not wish to minimize the importance of the social determinants of health in producing and reproducing health inequities [53]. On the contrary, we would argue that cultural differences need to be understood alongside gender, educational status and socioeconomic status [54]. This highlights the importance of a culturally competent research team and community partners in interpreting study results and considering their implications. We are also conscious of the need to recognize the protective aspects of culture. Culture should not be problematized by health services or health researchers. Culture provides shared meaning and identity, as well as enabling mechanisms for material support. Further, culture is not static but ever-changing, as is the multicultural profile of Australian society.

Woodland, L., Blignault, I., O’Callaghan, C., & Harris-Roxas, B. (2021). A framework for preferred practices in conducting culturally competent health research in a multicultural society. Health Research Policy and Systems, 19(1), 24. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12961-020-00657-y

I hope it makes a useful contribution to the field, as well as providing a practical set of considerations for people who are planning to undertake research with culturally and linguistically groups.