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Improving access to healthcare for CALD communities

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WHILE Melbourne’s primary health care system provides patients with quality services, these services can be difficult to access for those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, a report has found. A key finding of the 2021 report, Bridging the Health Gap, released by the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV), is that the Western medical model is not culturally responsive to the primary care needs of Melbourne’s diverse community. The use of interpreters is inconsistent and underutilised, and a lack of translated materials or culturally trained advisors, makes it difficult for people from culturally diverse backgrounds to navigate the…

Donate to ‘share the dignity’ with those vulnerable to period poverty

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This month, Share the Dignity is running their March Dignity Drive with an ambitious aim of collecting 500,000 period products to help those experiencing period poverty. Donations can be made at registered collection points that are then distributed across the country through various charities. Share the Dignity founder and managing director Rochelle Courtenay said the need to address period poverty is greater now more than ever. “You look at the financial strain and you look at these major floods that have happened in two of our largest states,” she said. “Before COVID there were 3.2 million Australians who live below…

Tennis legend and disability advocate Dylan Alcott named 2022 Australian of the Year

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TENNIS legend and disability advocate Dylan Alcott has been named the Australian of the Year for 2022. Mr Alcott has won 15 Grand Slam Single titles in wheelchair tennis. He will also be competing for his eighth and last Australian Open Singles title tomorrow Thursday, 27 January. Mr Alcott, who is also the founder of The Dylan Alcott Foundation, which helps young Australians with disabilities gain self-esteem and respect, is the first person with a disability to win the award in its 62-year history. “I love my disability,” he said. “It is the best thing that ever happened to me.…

‘Shadow pandemic’ coined by UN report

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SIXTEEN days from November 25 to December 10, are marked for activism against gender-based violence by UN Women as findings from a new report reveal violence against women exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.   Measuring the Shadow Pandemic: violence against women during COVID-19 confirms the deadly outbreak has given rise to a shadow pandemic of gender-based struggle.  UN Women’s executive director Sima Bahou, who coined the term ‘shadow pandemic,’ said the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated isolation and social distancing, enabling a second, shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls. “…Our new data underlines the urgency of concentrated efforts to end this.”…

Six ways Australia can get in front of climate change policy

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WHILE Australia’s climate change policy ranked last in the latest Climate Change Performance Index, a new report has identified six clean export opportunities to help Australia take the lead. The annual CCPI measures the performance of 60 countries on greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, energy use and climate policy. The report criticised Australia’s inaction and “lack of domestic ambition” on climate change policy while highlighting the critical need for Australia to improve its standing in the global transition to net zero. “Even though the renewables electricity is growing, experts believe that Australia has failed to take advantage of its potential,…

WWF calls on government to prioritise land protection

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A NEW report by Worldwide Fund for Nature-Australia reveals the environmental letdowns that have resulted from Australia’s past inabilities to meet land protection targets.  This report comes in time for a new landmark pact to protect at least 30 percent of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030, finalised during the fifteenth United Nations Climate Change Conference (Cop 15) this month.    Whilst Australia has agreed to the target and publicly committed to a ‘combined’ 30 percent of domestic land and ocean protection by 2030, WWF-Australia’s chief conservative officer, Rachel Lowry, expects more.  “The Australian Government should commit to a global…

Career women go online as role models for young girls

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WOMEN all around the world from different careers and backgrounds are posting photos of themselves as young girls and reflecting on their dreams, aspirations and doubts at that age. Their efforts are part of the #ThisLittleGirlIsMe initiative by international charity Inspiring Girls.  Founder and Chair of Inspiring Girls International, Miriam González Durántez, recognised how important female role models are in breaking down gender stereotypes. She founded the organisation to make it easy for young girls to access female role models, allowing them to see what they can be. “Inspiring Girls is dedicated to raising the aspirations of young girls around…

Stand in solidarity with men affected by prostate cancer this September

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PROSTATE Cancer claims the lives of nine men every day and is the most common cancer amongst Australian men. Despite the pervasive nature of this disease, many suffer in silence, leading to an increased likelihood of depression and anxiety as a result of their diagnosis. Seventy -two per cent of men diagnosed will not reach out for mental health support. Throughout the month of September, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia will raise funds for support services and research. The Long Run is a fundraising initiative calling on the community to walk, run or wheel 72km in solidarity with men…

Equal access to sport is a significant need

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WHILST the Paralympics has come to a close, all ability opportunities to compete and be successful in sport is ongoing at Blind Sports and Recreation Victoria (BSRV). The non-profit organisation encourages meaningful inclusivity by tailoring sports and recreation programs for the likes of blind and vision-impaired Victorians.  CEO and president of Blind Sports Victoria, Maurice Gleeson believes diversity in sport needs to be substantial. “Often people will create sport or recreation programs that offer inclusivity but not in a meaningful way,” he said.  “By meaningful participation, I mean adapting the activity where possible, to involve the person who is blind…

Australia’s National Plan to re-open does not involve kids

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AUSTRALIAN parents want their kids vaccinated and back at school, according to a national poll by UNICEF. The results, released on August 11, 2021, found parents were overwhelmingly concerned about the academic effects of extended periods in lockdown. Learning loss was a ‘major concern’ for 63 per cent of parents, with more than one in four anxious their child would remain intellectually behind when school returned. UNICEF Australia CEO, Mr Tony Stuart said it was necessary to include parents in the debate about sending kids back to school. “To date, much of the debate on when students will return to…

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