First national bilingual course launched for health professionals

WSLHD bilingual community educators undertaking the nationally accredited course.

Are you a Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) staff member who is keen to boost your skills in bilingual communication? 

The first nationally accredited course for bilingual educators called the ‘Course in Bilingual Community Education Work’, was recently delivered by the NSW Health Education Centre Against Violence (ECAV) in partnership with Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD).

More than half our residents in Western Sydney speak a language other than English, so this course aims to improve communication between our community and health workers.

The first cohort of 12 bilingual community educators are currently undertaking the nine-month course, which will enable them to deliver important health information and workshops in their native language, to their respective communities.

ECAV senior state-wide educator, Kristian Reyes, said this course is very important as these specially trained educators are often the first people that migrants or refugees come into contact with, when accessing health services.

“As part of their training, participants participate in a practical component, where they present health information to their community,” Kristian said

“Topics are varied and examples include diabetes awareness, breast screening, and sessions on domestic and family violence.

“The course covers facilitation and communication skills, behaviour and conflict management as well as diversity.”

Refugee Health Iraqi bilingual community educator (BCE), Ghalib Al Bakri, is undertaking the course and said he already has plans for how he can apply his new skills in his daily work.

”I am now able to plan and prepare presentations specifically targeted to my community group and can confidently manage problems and address safety issues,” Ghalib said.

The inaugural course was developed by the NSW Health Bilingual Community Educators Workforce Standards Committee, which consists of representatives from WSLHD, ECAV, Refugee Health, South Western Sydney LHD and the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS).

This free course is now available for WSLHD health bilingual community educators.  For more information, or to register your interest, click here.