Healthy lifestyle in your language

Living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent chronic diseases and increase life expectancy. It looks like a simple concept in a nutshell, but it gets confusing as you dig deeper.

What food is really nutritious and what products should be avoided? Is low-fat dairy actually good for you? How much exercise is enough to maintain a healthy bodyweight?

Even with thousands of articles online, it can be difficult to find useful information, especially for migrants living in Australia.

Western Sydney Local Health District’s Multicultural Health addressed this issue and launched a new online education program, “Healthy LifeStyle”.

Bilingual Community Education program officer Anoop Johar providing online training to bilingual educators.

The program’s purpose is to improve the health and wellbeing of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities by conducting brief interactive classes in their first language.

Bilingual Community Education (BCE) program officer Anoop Johar said the information sessions were designed to specifically target CALD women.

“Many participants have low literacy in their own language so these programs are designed to have minimal reading and writing,” Anoop said.

“We aim to promote good health and wellbeing through visual communication strategies, using educators from the same background, speaking the same language as the participants.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic the team has been exploring alternative ways of connecting with CALD communities in COVID-safe ways.

The proactive response to the impact on community education has included training a pool of bilingual educators to deliver “Healthy LifeStyle” digitally.

Nishanthi Jesurasa delivering a Healthy LifeStyle session to a Tamil group.

“This was a first of its kind online training session delivered for bilingual educators; a learning experience for all,” Anoop said.

In September the BCE Program delivered eight sessions to 90 participants in Tamil, Tagalog, Mandarin, Arabic, Korean, and Urdu.

The feedback from participants has been positive and that the information on the sugar contents of the common drinks was particularly eye opening. They also said that they’ve gained good knowledge and will be able to adapt it in their daily lifestyle. 

BCE Program is one of the major health education programs of Multicultural Health WSLHD. For more information, contact Anoop Johar on