On behalf of the Transcultural Mental Health and Refugee Health Conference Organising Committee, we invite you to join us at the 4th Transcultural Mental Health and 2nd Refugee Health Conference in Perth, Western Australia from 31 October to 1 November 2013. The ongoing and collaborative partnership we have developed between mental health, health and the non-government sector in bringing this, and previous Conference events together, is reflective of the recognition of the expertise and value that each sector has to contribute to the lives of those who are the focus of the Conference.
As our world becomes conceptually smaller with the global village now a reality in our neighbourhood and our connections with other cultures no longer hindered by distance, we are proud to convene a Conference that will bring together international, national and local perspectives. The participants will enrich our knowledge and understanding about better and more effective health and mental health service delivery, community engagement, and research methodology with new and emerging communities.
We continuously hear buzz words such as innovative, cutting edge and evidence-based in a variety of contexts, but rarely do we observe these being applied when working in the transcultural mental health and refugee health sectors. How will the push for activity-based funding across our health services affect how we will work with ethnic minority groups ? These groups invariably present with complex needs entwined with cultural elements that must first be unravelled before we can fully comprehend their situation. When culture comes into play – with all its dimensions of norms, values, beliefs and attitudes – the meaning of working transculturally becomes all the more pertinent for service providers who are likely to be from a different culture than that of the consumers or the community with which they may be engaging. The one size fits all mentality is no more a convenient recourse for resolving pressures associated with, or generated by, funding contracts.
Practice-based evidence and not evidence-based practice must be the catchcry echoed across the sector. Our theme is Flourishing in a New Land, a Diversity of Opportunities and Choices and in that spirit it will highlight and promote pathways that have led, and those that are yet to be forged, to ensure that resettlement in Australia will equate to a flourishing of health and well-being.
We also offer a warm welcome to consumers and carers to be a part of this innovative Conference where three streams come together to offer you a range of learning and networking opportunities. By visiting the trade stalls you will be able to familiarise yourselves with services available locally as well as meet and talk informally with various service providers. Through the various workshops and presentations you will become aware of different models of service delivery to which you can have access or are being developed. As a carer or consumer, you can take this knowledge home with you and apply it to your lives as well as make suggestions to the agency or practitioner with whom you are working about what you would like to see changed.
The time invested by attending the Conference will be rewarding and invigorating and we look forward to welcoming you and mutually exchanging our experiences and ideas at the Conference in October 2013.
Dr Aesen Thambiran
Dr Bernadette Wright
Andrea Creado, Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Centre
Dr Aesen Thambiran, Humanitarian Entrant Health Service, Public Health & Ambulatory Care, North Metropolitan Health Service, Department of Health
Dr Bernadette Wright, Transcultural Mental Health Services, Department of Psychiatry, Royal Perth Hospital
Susanne Chance, Refugee Health, Child and Adolescent Community Health (CASH)
Dr Sarah Cherian, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Refugee Health Clinic
Carly Dolinski, Mental Health Commission Western Australia
Heather Jamieson, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Refugee Health Clinic
Ruth Lopez, Cultural Diversity Unit, Chronic Disease Prevention, Department of Health
Jan Mantell, Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors (ASeTTS)
Chris Rowcliffe, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Refugee Health Clinic