Australian Multicultural Health Collaborative to provide national voice for CALD health

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA), the peak national body representing multicultural and ethnic communities, is facilitating the establishment of the ‘Australian Multicultural Health Collaborative’, a national voice to provide leadership and advice on policy, research, and practice to improve access and equity and achieve better health outcomes for Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

Following engagement with key stakeholders, FECCA is now inviting feedback from healthcare providers, consumers, and researchers to inform the further development of the proposed Collaborative.

FECCA Chairperson, Ms. Mary Patetsos, said the COVID-19 pandemic had clearly highlighted inequities and disparities experienced by multicultural communities in the COVID-19 response.

FECCA strongly advocated for the establishment of the CALD Communities COVID-19 Health Advisory Group, a national advisory group providing advice to the Federal Government. Significant progress has been made in ensuring culturally appropriate messaging to and engagement with CALD communities, and in improving data collection which informs the targeting of public health initiatives and the vaccine rollout.

The success of this partnership with the Government and the organisations involved has inspired and informed the need for the proposed Collaborative on broader health issues.

“There is currently no national unified voice on multicultural health issues,” Ms Patetsos said.

“FECCA believes the Australian Multicultural Health Collaborative would be instrumental in providing national leadership and advice on policy, research, and practice, to improve access and equity and achieve better culturally appropriate health outcomes for Australians from multicultural backgrounds.”

Ms Patetsos said FECCA has been consulting with key healthcare providers, researchers, and advocates in the multicultural health space about the Collaborative.

FECCA is currently undertaking a range of projects in the pandemic response, including engagement with CALD communities around COVID-19 messaging and assistance for multicultural groups to engage with their communities to encourage vaccine uptake.

On broader health issues, FECCA has recently been involved in projects with the Therapeutics Goods Administration, Cancer Australia, the Australian Digital Health Agency and NPS MedicineWise, and represents the CALD consumer voice on various national health advisory groups.

“FECCA is now inviting expressions of interest and feedback on the proposal from healthcare providers, consumers, and researchers to inform the further development of the proposed Collaborative.”

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