At the Diversity Programs and Strategy Hub, our goal is to improve the health of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
We work together with health services, community organisations and local communities to deliver health promotion and prevention programs. We create links between communities and health services to improve the health care experience and outcomes for our culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Our multilingual workforce is trained to support a wide range of health services, community programs and communication strategies in different languages to promote health and wellbeing from early life through to healthy ageing.
The Cultural Support Program works collaboratively with clinical and non-clinical services across Sydney Local Health District to support the delivery of culturally responsive care.
It adds value to community programs and provides support in reaching priority culturally and linguistically diverse populations as well as providing feedback to improve the health system.
The program comprises a pool of approximately 120 trained bilingual and bicultural Cultural Support Workers from across 25 language groups. The Cultural Support Workers are drawn from priority communities across the District. They have been recruited based on their work within their communities, language proficiency, knowledge of the Australian health system, and understanding of health beliefs and cultural practices within their communities.
Cultural Support Workers have a broad scope of practice, which includes:
Developing and implementing community engagement initiatives
Delivering information and health education in-language
Reviewing and developing multilingual resources
HIV Client Support Program (in-language)
The HIV Client Support Program provides support to people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities who are affected by HIV.
Who is the program for?
Anyone who has a HIV diagnosis and needs in-language support.
What is covered?
Our clients are matched to a bi-lingual/bi-cultural Cultural Support Worker. The Cultural Support Worker understands the culture and language needs of their clients; the meaning of a HIV diagnosis; and how the health system works in Australia.
Our team works with the client to provide emotional support, improve health literacy and understanding of HIV. We support ongoing treatment and care, normalise and de-stigmatise living with HIV, and systems navigation.
The HIV Cultural Support Program protects individual’s privacy and confidentiality, and is available across New South Wales.
The Multicultural Leaders Forum is an annual event where multicultural community leaders meet with Sydney Local Health District senior executives to share information, discuss priority health issues and develop strategies to improve the community’s health.
In previous years more than 60 community leaders attended the Multicultural Leaders Forum. These leaders represented both larger, established communities – including Arabic-speaking, Chinese-speaking, Greek and Italian communities – as well as new and emerging communities such as Bangladeshi, Nepalese, Mongolian and Rohingya.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we established the Canterbury Leaders Forum to specifically address COVID-19 health concerns in the Canterbury area. This forum led to pivotal strategies in the local pandemic response, including the establishment of testing and vaccination clinics at Lakemba Mosque and other community locations. The forum will continue beyond the pandemic, extending its focus to other priority health issues in the Canterbury area.
NSW HIV Roundtable 2023
The first NSW Culturally and Linguistically Diverse HIV Roundtable event was held on 10 August 2023, at Canterbury Hurlstone-Park RSL. The event brought together health professionals, multicultural community leaders and Ministry of Health staff to create a platform for share knowledge and community perspectives, with the goal of improving access to HIV prevention, testing, and treatment for culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Attendees heard from speakers from across the state, including Clinical Nurse Consultant Anik Ray from the Sydney Sexual Health Clinic, Medical Director of Sexual Health Services at South Western Sydney Local Health District Dr Chris Carmody, and Dr Rohan Bopage, Infectious Diseases and Sexual Health Physician from Western Sydney Health.
People from culturally and linguistically diverse communities were also able to share their perspectives of HIV and stories of lived experience.
The session ended with a facilitated group discussion, where attendees were able to express views and opinions about current and future health care services.
Working with ethnic media is an important part of what we do at the Diversity Programs and Strategy Hub.
We work with print, digital and broadcast media channels in more than 20 languages to raise awareness of health issues and improve access to health services for people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
We continue to consult with our community for the ongoing development of communication strategies to increase health service accessibility. We develop campaign proposals with customised media releases, communication and advertising assets. We plan and implement campaign initiatives across a range of health issues such as COVID-19, HIV, hepatitis B and C, monkey-pox, problem gambling and bowel screening.
In Sydney Local Health District, we acknowledge that we are living and working on Gadigal, Wangal and Bediagal land, part of the EORA Nation. We pay our respect to all elders past, present and emerging. Our vision is to have the healthiest Aboriginal community in Australia.