Today (21 March) is Harmony Day. Coinciding with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Harmony Day celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity and is all about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. This Harmony Day post includes extracts from a speech by our CEO Robyn Gregory, given at a forum on 17 March 2015.
Women’s Health West has been working in Melbourne’s culturally diverse western region for 27 years, assisting women affected by family violence and seeking to prevent violence from occurring in the first place.
In the west we are particularly proud of our diverse and vibrant community. The 2011 census shows that in each of the west’s local government areas, over a quarter of female residents were born overseas. The three most common countries of birth were Vietnam, India and China.
This diversity brings rich opportunities – and significant challenges in meeting the diverse and complex needs of women. Here are ten things we’ve learned in trying to be a culturally aware and accessible service.