On the 3-7th April, the 15th World Congress on Public Health was held in Melbourne. During this time, The Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH) hosted a field visit where we were fortunate enough to welcome and meet like-minded, passionate people from all over the world, including fellow Australians who are leaders in their field on health and wellbeing.
We had the opportunity to talk with visitors who specifically selected our organisation as part of their visit to Melbourne, including: Indigenous Allied Health, UCLA World Policy Analysis Centre, Umea University, The University of Western Australia, The University of Connecticut- Women & Health, School of Public Health-Sydney University, University of Papua New Guinea, Central Michigan University, Lagos State University, The University of Melbourne, Breastscreen Victoria and Alcohol and Drug Foundation, Victoria.
Joyce Jiang, Health Promotions Manager, welcomed the delegates and gave an overview of the work and the various programs and projects undertaken at MCWH. Joyce spoke about the ongoing drive behind our organisation that started over 35 years ago and how we continue to use the same approach to delivering health information, research, health education and training to migrant and refugee women all over Australia.
Amira Rahmanovic, Health Education Program Manager, shared her experience and boundless energy about the health education sessions we conduct in multicultural communities across Victoria. Our Bilingual Health Educators Manasi Wagh-Nikam and Yanping Xu had the opportunity to speak on behalf of the dynamic Bilingual Educator’s team and share their own experiences of facilitating sessions using the peer educator’s model approach.
Monique Hameed, National Training Officer, spoke of the impact and the complexities of the term ‘cultural competence’ and challenged this term, citing how her training program looks beyond cultural competence. Medina Idriess, who has been a constant ambassador and FARREP worker for the Family and Reproductive Education Program for over 20 years, also spoke about her role at MCWH. In her role Medina has been an integral part of the changes and education that have taken place all over the world in the practice of Female Genital Cutting. Medina retold the story of when the controversial conversation about female genital cutting first started in Victoria and the implications for our work in the education and prevention of this practice today.
We would like to thank everybody at the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health for being such an integral part of the day and we would also like to sincerely thank our new friends who took the time to find out a bit more about the uniqueness of our work at MCWH. After meeting the delegates on the day, it is inspiring to be sitting on a platform with people who share a similar, if not the same philosophy, of supporting migrant and refugee women and their health on a global level.