victorian refugee health network

~ November 2018 e-Bulletin ~

Photo: Dr Kate Walker speaking at the launch of the Australian Refugee Health Practice Guide. Photo credit: Annette Ruzicka Photography

Launch of the 2018 Australian Refugee Health Practice Guide

The Australian Refugee Health Practice Guide was launched on Thursday 1 November 2018 by Paris Aristotle and Dr Kate Walker.
The Australian Refugee Health Practice Guide aims to support doctors, nurses and other primary care providers to deliver comprehensive on-arrival and ongoing care for people from refugee backgrounds, including people seeking asylum. The Australian Refugee Health Practice Guide comprises the following resources:
• Desktop guide
• Booklets on key topics: ‘Why focus on refugee health?’, ‘Child and adolescent health’, ‘Experiences of torture and trauma: psychological effects, management and psychological approaches’
• Website:
The 2018 update of the Guide was conducted by Foundation House in collaboration with general practitioners, refugee health nurses, practice nurses, specialists and Primary Health Networks.
Contact for details about how to access hard copy resources in your area.

‘Ways to Welcome’ website has been launched

The ‘Ways to Welcome’ Diverse Safe Place Project has been funded through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) with the aim to improve access and inclusion to community services for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people living with a disability.
This project has been a year-long partnership across three states; Townsville QLD, Sydney NSW and Geelong VIC.  This web resource has been co-designed with people from CALD backgrounds who have a disability to produce tools and resources that will guide community organisations and businesses to be more welcoming and inclusive.

Users of the site are encouraged to start by listening to the stories on the ‘listen’ page, then use the tools and resources in the ‘learn’ portal to improve your ways to welcome and sign up to the ‘Ways to Welcome Charter of Commitment’. Visit the website and be sure to share it with your networks.

RURAL AND REGIONAL NEWS - Wonthaggi Multicultural Women’s Friendship Group

Photo (used with permission): Wonthaggi Multicultural Women’s Friendship Group

We caught up with Debra Carnduff, Community Settlement Worker at Latrobe Community Health Service, to hear about the Wonthaggi Multicultural Women’s Friendship Group. The group was founded at the beginning of 2018 and brings together women from diverse cultural backgrounds to build new friendships, share knowledge and to practice their English conversation skills.

While the group is social by nature, participants are also keen to learn about local services available to them. In the past guest speakers have visited to talk about physical and mental health issues, employment support and vocational pathways, and Centrelink rights and responsibilities. The group has also paid a visit to the local police station where they shared a morning tea with senior staff.
Recently the group welcomed a local women’s health nurse as a guest speaker. The nurse presented on women’s health, mental health, and healthy relationships. Following the presentation, the group booked in to visit the women’s health clinic collectively. During this visit, the nurse again spoke to them about pap tests and BreastScreen examinations, after which the group all booked in for a breast screen on the same day, so that they could go together and support each other.


2018 Refugee Health Assessment Template – now available for Medical Director and Best Practice
Victorian Refugee Health Network
The Refugee Health Assessment Template 2018 (the Template) assists primary care providers to deliver high quality refugee health assessments (MBS  item 701, 703, 705, 707). The 2018 Refugee Health Assessment Template is based on current clinical recommendations and considers the primary care context including workflow and whole of practice approaches.
The Template is now available for use with Medical Director and Best Practice.

Offshore health assessment and the HAPlite system
The Royal Children’s Hospital Immigrant Health Service have collated information about offshore health assessments including immigration medical examinations, departure health checks, health undertakings, deferrals, health alerts, HAPLite and complex medical issues – specialised case management, as well as tip sheets for using HAPlite.

SRSS Medical Evidence Fact Sheet
Department of Home Affairs
This fact sheet is for medical professionals providing evidence for applications for Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS).

Resources for organisations wishing to translate health information
The Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health has produced a range of tip sheets for health care workers and community organisations wishing to translate health information or to review existing translations. The tip sheets include:

Migration and Hepatitis: Australian visa applicants and hepatitis
Hepatitis Victoria
Hepatitis Victoria has produced an easy to understand introductory resource to support people living with hepatitis B in understanding how it affects their visa application and some processes along the way. The resource is available in a number of community languages including Arabic, Burmese and Dari.

Little Hep B Hero book (multi-language)
Hepatitis Victoria
Hepatitis Victoria has produced a new children’s book and resource for families to raise awareness about viral hepatitis and increase health literacy. The book is written primarily for 6 to 12 year-olds and contains a glossary and discussion section for families. The book is currently available in English, simplified Chinese and Vietnamese. More languages, including Khmer, coming soon!

Until when? The forgotten men on Manus Island
Amnesty International and Refugee Council of Australia
This report focuses on the men who remain on Manus Island since the closure of the regional processing centre at Lombrum Naval Base one year ago. The report makes recommendations to both the Australian Government and the Government of Papua New Guinea. 


2019 Health Literacy Course
The Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health are now recruiting for their 2019 four day Health Literacy Course. On completion of the course, participants are able to:
• Create immediate outcomes at the individual and organisational level.
• Transfer training knowledge and increase capacity to implement health literacy concepts.
• Develop leadership in health literacy across the organisation.
The course is taught over four day sessions on 7 May, 23 July, 15 October and 19 November.


Refugee Alternatives Conference 2019 – early bird tickets on sale now!
Refugee Council of Australia and MARRNet (Migration and Refugee Research Network)
The conference provides an opportunity to build skills, network with others working with people from refugee backgrounds and people seeking asylum, and to collaborate on alternatives to refugee and asylum seeker affairs in Australia.
When: Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 February 2019
Where: University of South Australia, Adelaide
Cost: $180 for Individual Early Bird

2nd Australia and New Zealand Refugee Trauma Recovery in Resettlement Conference – registrations now open!
Registrations have opened for the 2nd Australia and New Zealand Trauma Recovery in Resettlement Conference. The theme of the 2019 conference is Healing in Exile: Current and future challenges and international human rights barrister Geoffrey Robertson AO QC will be the keynote speaker.

When: 27-29 March 2019

Where: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre


North American Refugee Health Conference – call for abstracts closing soon!
The 2019 North American Refugee Health Conference will be held on 14-16 June 2019 at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto. The 2019 conference will focus on all aspects of refugee health, including the Rohingya crisis and Trauma and Resiliency. The call for abstracts closes on Monday, 10 December 2018 and submissions will be considered for workshops, oral, or poster presentations.


2019 Australian Primary Healthcare Nurses Conference – call for abstracts deadline extended!
The deadline to submit an abstract for the 2019 APNA conference has been extended until 5pm on Thursday 29 November. The theme for the 2019 conference is Building on the Best and APNA are looking for abstracts that showcase innovative and replicable models of care; explore how the role of nurses can be better understood and recognised; highlight quality improvement in practice; identify workforce capacity building; or exemplify proficiency in health care.
When: 4-6 April 2019
Where: Adelaide Convention Centre

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.