Celebrating stories and health for Refugee Week

The Multicultural Health program officers at the Westfield Mount Druitt celebration included (from left) Daniel Apat, Abulla Agwa, acting team leader Mohamed Keynan, Murad Hossain and Carly Copolov.

Multicultural health workers have been at celebrations across the district this week as Australia observes Refugee Week.

Around 4300 refugee and humanitarian immigrants settled in NSW each year from 2012-2016, of which about a quarter now live in Western Sydney Local Health District.

Multicultural Health program officer Dr Carly Copolov said the theme of Refugee Week this year, ‘A World of Stories’, is a relevant message for health workers as every patient or client has their own story.

“Refugee Week is a significant celebration for our district as many residents are refugees or the children of refugees, or otherwise culturally and linguistically diverse,” Carly said.

“We need everyone to feel welcome and have their story celebrated, and this week highlights the importance of community and stories.”

Other WSLHD representatives at the celebration in Mount Druitt included Nina Hartcher and Helen Achat from epidemiology, pictured here speaking with a community member.

Multicultural Health attended events in Granville, Blacktown and Mount Druitt, reaching hundreds of people with important health messages in key languages including Dari and Arabic.

“The week was a great opportunity for us to reach clients and for them to see that health workers want to know them, engage with them, hear them, work with them and give them the confidence to navigate the health system,” Carly said.

“It’s important to show we’re there and we support them.”

The week also marked the 20th birthday of the NSW Refugee Health Service.