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
Monday’s Think Tank, organised by A/Prof Holly Seale and the Multicultural Health Communication Service, was a big success. More than 80 people from four states participated in the webinar and workshop sessions.
Lots of issues were discussed, but some of the recurrent themes were:
- The critical need for concise, timely, and accessible plain English information for multicultural communities, in order to enable official translations, but also so that commmunities can draw on ths information for ther own communication and messaging.
- We need to be genuinely working with people and organisations who are already working with CALD communities, and who are trusted by them. In doing this we need to reduce the emphasis on “pushing out” messages, towards more genine dialogue.
- Emphasise and reocgnise the strength of communities and work that has alrady been done. We also need to recognise that most of this has been voluntary and unpaid – and that resources are needed.
- While there has been fantastic work done at local and regional levels, there is a still a need for coordination at state and Commonwealth levels.
- Better information-sharing would reduce duplication of resources, but also enable capacity sharing (culural understanding and advice, translation, interpreting, etc).
- Written information isn’t enough. Audio and video information is more shareable online, and helps to overcome the complexitiies of written information (too much is still written at a Grade 12 level, needs to be at a Grade 8 level).
- Speed is critical to combat misinformation.
The next step will be to share a report and the videos from the event, as well as further coverage by Croakey. In the meantime, the tweets below show some of the research and resources that were shared,