victorian refugee health network

~ March 2018 e-Bulletin ~

In 2018 we're going to be publishing more regular, briefer editions of our e-Bulletin to keep you up-to-date. We always welcome contributions and feedback about the e-Bulletin, you can contact us by emailing


Photo: Counsellors from Foundation House, please note Foundation House's new phone numbers in this edition.

Some Temporary Protection Visas due to expire

Some Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) holders will be nearing the expiry of their visa. The Department of Home Affairs now has information on their website about the reapplication process. The Department advises that it is important for people to make an application before their current visa expires. See the Department of Home Affairs website for further information. People applying to renew their TPV should seek legal and migration advice, providers include: Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and Refugee Legal

Health information transfer for new arrivals – update

Last November, shortly after the Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP) commenced, health services noticed that health information was not being transferred as regularly as under the previous contract. Health services raised serious concern with the Department of Social Services (DSS). In late February DSS circulate a factsheet which advised that they will recommence distributing health information until the end of April 2018 via the HSP provider. DSS noted that this is intended to be an interim arrangement until HAPlite, an immigration health database, may be accessed by refugee health programs. See the DSS fact sheet Interim Health Report Process under the Humanitarian Settlement Program for further information.


The Victorian Refugee Health Network and the Statewide Refugee Health Program facilitator are working with refugee health programs to support them to access the HAPlite database. Victorian service providers may contact Philippa Duell-Piening for further information.

Rural and regional news

Call for abstracts to present at the 10th Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium, being held from 15 - 17 October 2018 at Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart, Tasmania. To be considered for the program, submit your abstract by Monday 25 June 2018. For more information about the topics or to submit your abstract for review please visit the Symposium's website

Resources and reports

The Hepatitis B Story

St Vincents Hospital Melbourne

An educational tool designed to support health workers in a discussion about chronic hepatitis B with patients who have low health literacy levels.The Hepatitis B Story interactive online “talking books” have been developed in Urdu, Khmer, Hindi, Thai. Hard copies of the Hepatitis B Story are available in 8 languages. For further information or for copies of the resource contact Gab Bennett.


Guidance note of the psychologically vulnerable applicants in the protection visa assessment process
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Regional Representation in Canberra

The Guidance note ‘provides guidance in relation to applicants whose ability to participate in protection visa assessment is reduced due to their disordered mental state and impaired cognitive abilities’.

Training and events

Building youth sport to be welcoming for all: the practical steps to supporting diversity

Centre for Multicultural Youth
Participants get to hear from experts, researchers, representatives from sports clubs and state sporting associations, youth support workers and young people. There will also be time for workshopping and discussing practical strategies for participants to take back to their organisations.
Date:  28 March 2018, 9.30am - 3.30pm
Venue: QV Women’s Building, 4th Floor, 210 Lonsdale Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000
Cost: $25 (+GST) per person

For further information or to register


State wide conference
Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV)
The ECCV 2018 state wide conference will lead public discussion to address the issues of unemployment and underemployment of Victorians from culturally diverse backgrounds, with a strong focus on future income earning opportunities to benefit employers, diverse jobseekers, business leaders and future entrepreneurs.

Date: 17-18 May, 2018

Venue: Ibis Melbourne

For more information or to register

Australia and New Zealand refugee trauma recovery in resettlement conference

Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (FASSTT)

FASSTT invites abstracts for the 2019 Australia and New Zealand Refugee Trauma Recovery in Resettlement Conference. The theme is Healing in Exile – Current and Future Challenges.

Date: 27-29 March, 2019

Venue: Brisbane

For more information or to submit an abstract

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.