The Multicultural Centre for Women's Health aims to ensure that working women, particularly women from immigrant and refugee communities, have access to the knowledge and information they require to control their health and wellbeing.
At its core MCWH is about information exchange-what we like to call our 'woman-to-woman' approach. Information is today's strongest currency. The most valuable information is that which affects our wellbeing. All women need access to this fundamental knowledge bank.
We know the value of our resources because we use them in our outreach programs, health information service provision, and professional training. We aim to publish and provide material for immigrant and refugee women and for anyone else interested in their health and wellbeing.
Below is a list of our more recent reports and links to download them.
- MCWH Women’s Health Map
How to work with immigrant and refugee women navigating the Australian health system
Most of us don’t think twice about visiting the doctor. It’s just another appointment in our busy lives. Now imagine having to ask questions like: What is health? Where do I go? What do I say? How do I pay? What do I do if I am not happy? What are my health rights and responsibilities? Add to this having to overcome cultural differences in health care, a system that often does not understand us (literally or otherwise), a visa status that can restrict our access to health services, a health system that can be very different to the one we knew in our country of origin (to which we may also have had little access).
MCWH’s resource Women’s Health Map: Assisting Immigrant & Refugee Women to Navigate the Australian Health System is an innovative guide for community workers working with immigrant and refugee women as they make their way through our health system. It is especially useful when working with newly-arrived women. Most importantly MCWH’s Women’s Health Map approaches the Australian health system from the perspective of immigrant and refugee women and encourages community workers to see it from this unique point of view.
On Her Way
Based on extensive research and consultation, On Her Way provides an overview of the various groups of immigrant and refugee women in Australia
that should be involved in any violence prevention effort. The nature of violence perpetrated against these women, and the factors that may increase
women's exposure to violence are also covered.
Click here for more information on the project or
to download a copy of On Her Way.
Women's Health Connect
MCWH recently implemented a sexual health promotion program in response to the high number of unplanned pregnancies and abortions experienced by female
international students in Australia. The program (which took place in the City of Melbourne) aimed to build the capacity of these students to improve
their health and wellbeing especially their sexual health.
Click here for more information on the project or
to download a copy of On Your Own.
Understanding Sexuality Project
Immigrant and refugee communities have a responsibility to improve their understanding of the issues facing their GLBTIQ members,
and to better support GLBTIQ community members and their families.
The Understanding Sexuality Project built the capacity of bicultural and bilingual community workers to do this and to support
same-sex attracted women from their ethnic communities, through informative and culturally-relevant training and education.
Click here for more information on the project or to download a copy of the project report
Coming Out, Coming Home or Inviting People In? Supporting Same-Sex Attracted Women From Immigrant and Refugee Communities.
Alcohol Project: delivering alcohol information to at-risk culturally and linguistically diverse communities
The Alcohol Project is a 12 month project being conducted with Turning Point Drug and Alcohol Centre and the Department of Health.
The Alcohol Project aims to spread health promotion messages about alcohol related risks and harms to five communities identified as 'at risk' due to a number of factors, including a poor understanding of the health service system and the lack of access to culturally sensitive treatment services.
The Cheers? Alcohol and your family brochures are available in English and five community languages Arabic, Polish, Spanish, Sudanese, and Vietnamese.
The PACEsetters Project set out to document and promote the PACE Project participant's stories so as to inspire other immigrant and refugee women to participate in leadership roles. They are a compelling testament to the power of immigrant and refugee women's knowledge, experience and leadership capacity.
The project also trained women as media advocates, so that the women themselves can promote their own stories to the broader community. A highlight of the media advocacy training was a lively presentation from Melbourne ABC Radio presenter, Lindy Burns, which involved radio interview role plays with the women.
Click here to read the PACEsetters women's stories of inspiring leadership journeys.
PACE (Participate, Advocate, Communicate and Engage)
The PACE Project sought to build the capacity of women from immigrant and refugee backgrounds to seek out and participate in formal leadership opportunities.
Eighteen women, from a range of cultural and language backgrounds, and across the life span, were recruited to participate in a specifically-tailored Leadership Program which was designed to equip women with the skills and knowledge to confidently participate in leadership roles. The Leadership Program was delivered in partnership with Victoria University's Workforce Development Unit.
Two significant outcomes of PACE were the Project Report and the PACE Best Practice Guide,
click here for copies or to read more about the project.
SEED Projects: Sharing Experiences & Education on Diabetes
There is a significantly higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes for overseas-born people and women in many immigrant and refugee
communities are twice as likely to develop gestational diabetes. Through our diabetes prevention health promotion work, the
Multicultural Centre for Women's Health aims to turn these dismaying statistics around.
The Sharing Experiences and Education on Diabetes (SEED) projects and reports have spanned several years of MCWH's work in bilingual diabetes prevention education.
Click here for more information on the projects or to download a copies of the project reports.
Setting the Compass
The Setting the Compass: Building Capacity for Advocacy on Immigrant and Refugee Women's Issues Project sought to build the capacity of national women's NGOs, and of immigrant and refugee women, to conduct targeted and informed advocacy using the
POD Advocacy Toolkit (5.5Mb) which has developed during the
For more information on the project or to download the full report of the STC Advocacy Development Sessions Report or the Project Evaluation Report.
Points of Departure Toolkit
The Points of Departure Project (POD) was a MCWH special project which sought to build knowledge and capacity of NGOs and individuals to advocate on key health issues affecting immigrant and refugee women. Women's lives are marked by constant change, and for immigrant and refugee women, their arrival in Australia is also a departure point for a new phase in their lives, hence the title of the project.
Click here for more information on the project or to download the POD Advocacy Toolkit.
Money Power Freedom
The Healthy Credit Project was implemented by MCWH to encourage and empower immigrant and refugee women to use credit wisely. The project found that credit and debt are significant issues in the lives of immigrant and refugee women and that often, debt is poverty-related.
Click here for more information on the project or to download the summary report or the full project report.