Celebrating Refugee Health Week at Monash Health

Three people celebrating Refugee Health Week

Refugee Week is a time to reflect and celebrate the valuable contributions refugees make to Australian society.

The theme for Refugee Week this year is ‘Unity- The way Forward’.

This theme aims to raise awareness of the issues affecting refugees and promote harmony through bringing together individuals, communities and organisations from many different backgrounds.

Our catchment includes the largest community of people from refugee backgrounds in Victoria.

Here at Monash Health, our Refugee Health and Wellbeing team have a long-standing commitment to improving the health of asylum seekers and refugees. Providing comprehensive primary care and tertiary services, including infectious diseases, paediatrics, and psychiatry, the team work tirelessly to provide the support and resources required to enable patients to reach their full potential.

Further, the Refugee Health and Wellbeing team have been instrumental in helping diverse families in our community through the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. Their work during this period has included conducting welfare checks on vulnerable families, monitoring and responding to health needs and reinforcing public health messages. The team also advocated for information to be produced in appropriate languages to ensure vital information is accessible to everyone in our community.

We asked the Refugee Health and Wellbeing team what the theme ‘Unity’ means to them and their work:

What does the word unity mean to you?

“Unity means to live, to learn, to grow and to achieve together”- Jacquie, Manager

“Unity for me is divergent people choosing to work together with one mind and one purpose, even though we may have many differences of beliefs, opinions, backgrounds and practices”- Rob, Community Development.

“Unity means standing with a person and not for a person”- Chiedza, Team Leader.

“Being one in sense and purpose. Each using our individual gifts to make up a whole”- Katie, Refugee Health Nurse.

How do you implement unity within your work?

“ By seeking to interact with everyone in a way that acknowledges and respects our differences, while finding common ground in what we all share as human beings – the fundamental pursuit of freedom, safety, connection and meaning” – Monica, Social Worker.

“Our team is a great example of unity because we are strength of each other. We always do our best to provide best service for the client”- Razia, Bicultural Welfare Worker.

“I implement unity in my work by establishing a combined goal with patient’s and then referring to other members of the team both in Refugee Health and throughout Monash Health in the hope that we can combine our skills and bring the patient the best outcome and help them to achieve their goals”- Megan, General Practitioner.

We encourage you to take some time this week to learn more about our refugee community and we want to say a big thank you to our Refugee Health and Wellbeing team for their extraordinary work.

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