victorian refugee health network

~ November-December 2016 e-Bulletin ~

                      Click on the links to the right to scroll down =>



Photo (L-R): Sandy Eagar, Nurse Manager, NSW Refugee Health Service;  Lindy Marlow, State-wide Facilitator, Victorian Refugee Health Program; Leeanne Schmidt, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Brisbane Metro South Refugee Health Service Health Equity and Access Unit Logan Central Community Health Centre; Jan Williams, Clinical Services Coordinator, Migrant Health Clinic, Adelaide; Lisa Clements, Clinical Nurse Manager, Companion House, ACT

Launch of Refugee Nurses of Australia

Refugee Nurses of Australia (RNA) was recently launched at the Australian College of Nursing's National Nursing Forum in Melbourne.  RNA aims to provide an open forum that facilitates discussion covering professional, strategic, and contemporary issues facing refugee health nurses. The RNA has a national focus and provides an opportunity for nurses working with people from refugee backgrounds to share resources, be advocates, contribute to clinical guidelines and be involved in community of practice opportunities.  Read more HERE 

New Paediatric Refugee Health Clinic

The Paediatric Refugee Health Clinic is a joint initiative between Northern Health and The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) to provide specialist paediatric refugee services in Melbourne’s north. The clinic provides a multidisciplinary assessment service for recently arrived children of a refugee background. Children seeking asylum and children in community
detention are also welcome.

Clinic details
Time: Fortnightly Fridays, 9.30am to 4pm
Clinician: RCH Paediatric Refugee Health Fellow
Eligibility: All recently arrived children of refugee background, including people seeking asylum on bridging visas or in community detention who are under 18 years of age. Find out more including how to refer HERE

Announcement of Victorian regions for Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEV)

The Victorian Government announced in October that it had reached an agreement with the Australian Government to allow people holding SHEVs to live in nominated regions in Victoria. Areas currently considered part of regional Australia for the SHEV arrangements are available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website as a map and as a list of post codes HERE. Further information about the SHEV conditions may be accessed HERE

East Sunshine Kindergarten and Foundation House win a Victorian Early Years Award

The East Sunshine Kindergarten in partnership with Foundation House won one of five Victorian Early Years awards, announced by Minister Mikakos on 18 October 2016 at the Arts Centre. Foundation House worked with the East Sunshine Kindergarten in 2011-12 with Chin community advisors. This supported the kindergarten to make significant changes in their work with Chin families. To quote the award narrative “This has created a welcoming, supportive environment where Chin families are now highly involved in all activities from working bees and transition days to being parent helpers. The kindergarten employs bicultural staff, provides practical support and has strong connections to many community agencies, the Chin church and feeder primary schools.”

Well done all! Read the project report HERE



Refugee Health Matters - latest edition

The Refugee Health Fellows have released the latest edition of Refugee Health Matters.  This edition has a focus on chronic pain management and can be viewed HERE 


Victorian Refugee Health Network Primary Care Forum Report
The Victorian Refugee Health Network annual Primary Care Forum was held on Tuesday 6 September 2016.  Read the report from the day HERE


Victorian Refugee Health Network Summary of Activity report
A summary of the Network’s 2015-2016 activity can be viewed HERE


Foundation House receives funding for expanded mental health services in the north
Foundation House will upgrade its facilities and expand mental health services for people from refugee backgrounds in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, with a further $200,000 provided by the Victorian Government. The new Dallas office will be located in the community hub that also houses  AMES Australia, NEAMI, Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre and other community organisations.  The new office is expected to open in February 2017. Read more HERE


Changes to the TIS immediate phone interpreting service
The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) have released a number of improvements to the immediate phone interpreting service:

  • Changes to the prompts when you call 131 450. Read more HERE
  • Automated Telephone Interpreting Service (ATIS) has increased to 30 languages. ATIS allows you to immediately communicate with your non-English speaking client with a phone interpreter, without having to call the TIS National Contact Centre for operator-assisted interpreter allocation. Read more HERE



Photo: courtesy of Bendigo Loddon Primary Care Partnership: Nay Chee Aung (left) and Martine Street (right)


Bendigo Karen Mental Health Poster
A mental health poster produced in the Karen language aims to make finding services in Bendigo and Loddon easier for the region’s growing Karen community. The resource was produced by Mental Health A to Z Network (MAZN), a network of professionals working in the area of mental health promotion and early intervention across Bendigo and Loddon.

The English-language version of the Mental Health Matters To Us All poster was launched in Bendigo in June 2016. The resource was so well received, there were requests to produce it in a variety of different languages to make the information accessible to the region’s diverse community.

The Karen-language poster is the first to be translated, with help from Bendigo Community Health Services. There are plans for kits in other languages to follow in the near future. View the English version HERE and the Karen version HERE 

To request a copy of the Mental Health Matters To Us All kit in English or Karen please contact Bethea Robertson on P: 5448 1682 or email HERE


Outer Northern Refugee Health Network Service Directory
The Outer Northern Refugee Health Network Service directory is now available online.  The directory will be officially launched early in the new year.  Access the directory HERE

Building belonging: A toolkit for early childhood educators on cultural diversity and responding to prejudice

Australian Human Rights Commission

‘Building Belonging’ is a  toolkit of early education resources  including an ebook, song with actions, educator guide, posters and lesson plans. It is focussed on encouraging respect for cultural diversity and tackling racial prejudice in early childhood settings. Access the toolkit HERE


Snapshots from Oz

Department of Social Services
This document outlines key features of Australian settlement policies, programs and services available for humanitarian entrants and has recently been updated. Read the report HERE


The Missing Link? Young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, social capital and the transition to employment
Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY)
CMY’s most recent policy paper explores the role of social capital in young people’s transitions to skilled employment. Read the report HERE


Understanding Health and Health Services

This video resource was developed with and for the Afghan community to improve health literacy and improve appropriate utilisation of health services.  The resource has recently been added to the Health Translations Directory.  Access the video HERE

Implementing the Victorian public health and wellbeing plan 2015–2019: taking action - the first two years
Victorian Government
This report summarises the major initiatives commenced or due to commence across the Victorian Government and major government agencies during the first two years of the health and wellbeing plan (until 2017).  Read the report HERE

Local Settlement Planning Committees New Arrivals Statistics 

For the latest figures regarding the Australian Government’s “Settlement Target Group” arrivals to Local Settlement Planning Committee (LSPC) locations throughout Victoria.  Access metropolitan statistics HERE  and regional statistics HERE

For advice on how to contact your LSPC email Department of Social Services HERE


The Settlement Journey
Department of Social Services

This resource provides a guide to the settlement steps of many people from refugee backgrounds.  Access the resource HERE



Professional and organisational development 2017 calendar
Foundation House
The 2017 Professional and Organisational Development Calendar will be available soon.  Subscribe to the mailing list HERE to receive it as soon as it is released.


Refugee Alternatives Conference 2017
Refugee Council of Australia
and University of NSW
The Refugee Council of Australia in conjunction with the University of New South Wales will be hosting the conference on improving refugee policy, practice and public support.
Dates: 22 – 23 February 2017
Venue: University of New South Wales, Sydney
More details: HERE


Migration, Development and Humanitarian Responses in Complex Emergencies
Western Sydney University
This introductory course will cover all aspects of migration including forced and voluntary migration. The delivery of the course will involve experts from Western Sydney University and practitioners from UN agencies and international NGOs.
Date: 27-31 March 2017
Fee: professionals: $1780; students: $1400; Western Sydney University students: $1200
Venue: Western Sydney University
Further details and registrations: HERE 






About Us

The Victorian Refugee Health Network brings together health, settlement and community services to be more accessible and responsive to the needs of people from refugee backgrounds, including people seeking asylum. The eBulletin provides a regular forum to share news, resources and information to support practitioners and services in providing health care to people from refugee backgrounds.