The Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams on Monday opened Multicultural Health Week by celebrating the journey women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities have taken to good health.
Mr Williams said the theme in 2017 – Women’s Journey to Good Health – is crucial as 27.7 per cent of NSW women speak a language other than English at home and a quarter of the state’s population were born overseas.
“The aim of Multicultural Health Week is to improve the health of women, especially women from multicultural backgrounds, by promoting the available multilingual resources about existing services to support their needs,” Mr Williams said.
Research shows females from CALD backgrounds face multiple disadvantages and challenges that negatively impact on their ability to access healthcare services. This includes racial, cultural and gender discrimination.
Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said the NSW Government understands that women’s healthcare services need to be culturally appropriate.
“We are committed to ensuring all women have equal access to the healthcare they need,” Mr Hazzard said.
“Women are more likely to use health services because more women than men have primary care responsibilities for children, people with disability and older people,” Mr Hazzard said.
The NSW Government has produced posters promoting the important journey that women from multicultural communities can take to good health. A short video has also been produced showcasing women from diverse backgrounds sharing the challenges they have faced and their motivation to be healthier.
Mr Williams said multilingual resources for CALD women are vital given that Australia is more diverse than ever.
“According to the 2016 Census, in NSW we practice 146 religions, speak 215 languages and come from 307 ancestries.
“We ask everyone to support the goal of Multicultural Health Week to empower women from diverse backgrounds in NSW to make their health a priority,” Mr Williams said.
Awards winners announced
Mr Williams also announced winners for the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Awards.
This Awards Program was established in 2003 by the MHCS to recognise NSW Health organisations, NGOs and individuals that have produced outstanding resources targeting the health needs of CALD communities.
“Congratulations to the award winners for producing excellent resources that make it easier for multicultural communities across the state to access our health services,” Mr Williams said.
Resources produced by winners and finalists will be available on the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service website – www.mhcs.health.nsw.gov.au