Issue 02 | October 2012| www.mhima.org.au


MHiMA CALD Consumer and Carer Working Groups MHiMA is seeking Expressions of Interest for a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) Consumer Working Group and a CALD Carer Working Group. The Working Groups will provide advice and represent the views and interests of mental health consumers and carers from migrant and refugee backgrounds at a national level. If you have lived experience of mental illness, are from a CALD background (or care for someone who is from a CALD background), and want to contribute to a national agenda on multicultural mental health, we want to hear from you. Applications close on the 31st of October. Further information, including an application form, is available from the MHiMA website. For more information, please contact Amy: amy@mhima.org.au or (08) 8302 2643.

The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) State Conference is on in just over a month. The 2012 ECCV State Conference “Victoria’s Multicultural Identity” will bring together government, policy makers, academics, service providers and community leaders to find intelligent solutions to Victoria’s identity challenges. The conference will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on November 20. A Gala Dinner will be held in the evening at the Immigration Museum. Tickets to both events are still on sale. For more information please go to: http://eccvconference.eventbrite.com/

The Refugee Council of Australia consultations (RCOA) will commence its annual national consultations on the future of Australia’s refugee and humanitarian program. Due to significant changes in refugee and asylum policy, this year’s consultations will include a presentation on the implications of recent government announcements as well as an opportunity for former refugees and service providers to have their say on international refugee needs, recommendations of the expert panel and onshore processing of asylum seekers. Feedback will contribute to RCOA’s submission to the Minister and Department of Immigration and will set out recommendations for the future direction of the program. Please see the RCOA website.

Applications are now open for the 2013 Interpreter Scholarship Program The Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship (OMAC) is inviting applications for its 2013 Interpreter Scholarship Program. Scholarships of up to $2000 will be offered to suitable candidates enrolled in the RMIT University Diploma of Translating and the program will target the following languages: Assyrian, Dinka, Kurdish (Feyli), Nepali, Neur and Swahili. An inaugural Regional Interpreter Scholarship Program is also being offered in Shepparton and applies to the Dari language only. For more information or to download an application form please see here

Mi Networks To try to make mental health services easier to find when people need them most,  the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia  has launched an initiative to give people around the nation easier access to  services and local support networks available to help people. Under the new “Mi Networks” initiative, 80 locations were launched on World Mental Health Day with another 40 to follow soon. The Mi Networks logo and the service promise that goes with it will be a guarantee of genuine support, accurate information and assisted referral to the best local services available. See more.

The Third National Conference on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees will be held at St Patrick’s Campus, ACU Melbourne, 6 – 7 December 2012. The Conference is designed to shed light on the forces driving asylum seekers from their homes, their journey to Australia, and their reception once they arrive. The Conference is open to the general public and all people interested in the asylum seeker phenomenon are encouraged to attend. For more information and to register please visit the website.

Articles & Reports

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a new report
Mental health services: in brief 2012
Mental health services in Australia - in brief 2012 provides an overview of the national response to the mental health needs of Australians. It includes information on mental health service provision, available mental health resources and the changes that have occurred in these over time. The publication compliments the more comprehensive data that is available online at Mental health services in Australia here. For the full brief, please see here.

Cultural Diversity and Child Protection A review of the Australian research on the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and refugee children and families  by Jatinder Kaur (2012). This paper is the first publication of its kind to review the available research literature on the CALD and refugee families in the Australian Child Protection System (CPS). This review was able to identify 13 publications describing Australian research completed between 1996 up to June 2012. The Research reviewed all the available Australian research evidence to establish ‘baseline knowledge’ for policymakers, practitioners and researchers. The paper can be found here.

"Acquiring health literacy as a moral task"  Professor David Ingleby, at Utrecht University, was recently published in the International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care (2012). The article offers a critique of the assimilationist approach to health services provision for migrants. According to Ingleby, migrants should be involved in the design of health services and their views on health should not be dismissed as signs of backwardness, ignorance and superstition, but seen as potential sources of enrichment for mainstream care. For more information, see here.

In Brief

Federal government announces expansion to family migration program The Minister for Immigration has announced an expansion to the Family Migration program to accommodate 4000 additional applications from the family members of refugees and humanitarian entrants. The expansion is in conjunction with changes to the Special Humanitarian program that removes concessions for the family members of asylum seekers arriving by boat.

Call for national refugee sport programs Sport programs for young refugees help them integrate into the community and should be implemented across Australia, a new report suggests. The UNSW School of Public Health and Medicine has been researching the effects of a soccer program founded in 2006 called Football United (FU) that builds social cohesion for migrant and refugee youth.