Gambling Awareness Project (GAP)

Closing the knowledge and service gap for immigrant and refugee communities

MCWH, funded by the Victoria Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF), undertook a one-year problem gambling education project in 2014-2015 directed at raising awareness of problem gambling among Arabic, Chinese and Vietnamese communities, and providing education sessions on problem gambling and facilitating access to gambling support services across Victoria.

In 2015-2016, the GAP is focusing on young women from immigrant and refugee background as well as international students across Victoria. More health education sessions on responsible gambling and online gambling/gaming will be provided to raise their awareness on these issues as well as to facilitate peer support among these young people.

Given the success of the program to date, MCWH has received a further three-year contract from the VRGF to continue working with families and communities affected by gambling issues and to deliver cultural competency training to mainstream workers. In 2016-2017, the project will focus on raising awareness of gambling related harm and co-occurring mental health issues among various migrant communities across Victoria.

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation

The Gambling Awareness Project (GAP) aims to:

1.Promote partner organisations’ gambling support services and programs to the Arabic, Chinese and Vietnamese communities in Victoria and connect immigrant and refugee women from these communities with the greater gambling support sector.

2.Develop a key resource on problem gambling education to train its fantastic team of Bilingual Health Educators on problem gambling in order to provide in-language, culturally tailored community education to women from immigrant and refugee backgrounds.

3.Facilitate peer support groups in three different community language groups (Arabic, Mandarin and Vietnamese) to engage women impacted by gambling-related harm in women-to-women support. This program will serve to facilitate access for its participants to existing mainstream gambling support services, as well as becoming an integral point of referral to receive ongoing support from the wider range of community organisations.

4.Develop organisational capacity to provide in-language gambling education to the wider community of women from immigrant and refugee backgrounds and develop ongoing ties with the gambling support sector to promote support programs and services for gambling-related problems.

5.Utilise its findings, evaluations and reports to develop a working resource to inform literature on gambling and immigrant and refugee women from Arabic, Chinese,Vietnamese as well other backgrounds.

In order to achieve these objectives, GAP works with six ethno-specific organisations to raise awareness to risks associated with problem gambling and empower women to develop resilience to the harmful effects of gambling addiction.

Our partner organisations are:

  1. Arabic Welfare Inc.
  2. Victorian Arabic Social Services
  3. Chinese Gambling Concern Inc.
  4. Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association
  5. Springvale Indo-Chinese Mutual Assistance Association
  6. Federation of Chinese Association
Partner organisations

Community Education

As an essential component of GAP, MCWH has updated its Health Education Program to include a new and expanded topic on Gambling Awareness.

As part of our Women’s Safety and Wellbeing module, our Gambling Awareness topic is offering immigrant and refugee women the opportunity to learn more about gambling-related issues and find avenues for help.

Why is this important?

Through expanding its topic on gambling education, MCWH aims to empower immigrant and refugee women to develop knowledge to protect themselves, their family, friends and community from gambling-related harm, and to reduce stigma and shame surrounding gambling-related issues.

How is this topic delivered?

MCWH trained bilingual health educators will conduct the education sessions in up to twenty languages where the sessions will be delivered to women in their own language.

What does this topic involve?

The topic on gambling awareness is a part of MCWH’s Women’s Safety and Wellbeing module that involves the delivery of culturally-appropriate education sessions. In these sessions, women get a chance to explore a range of gambling related topics such as interactive and problem gambling, digital gaming disorders, how to identify these problems and what available supporting services there are. A parent’s guide to facilitate the effective communication between concerned parents and their affected children can also be included upon request.

The content can be tailored to fit the expectations, needs and background of the participants.

How will women benefit from this?

The delivery of this topic within the Safety and Wellbeing module will have major benefits: Women will have the opportunity to get beyond feelings of shame and stigma and develop the capacity to seek support from community-based agencies that provide assistance with gambling-related issues.

Sessions delivered: By July 2016, the GAP has delivered over 50 education sessions in over 10 different community languages and reached more than 1,000 women from refugee and immigrant background across Victoria.

Who do I contact to organise a session?

For further information contact Amira Rahmanovic, Health Education Manager, at 9418 0918 or

View our flyer on booking Community Education Sessions:

Resources for community members and educators

Fact sheets for the GAP 2015-2016

Fact sheet: “Talking to your teens about digital gaming” (English)

Fact sheet: “Talking to your about digital gaming” (Chinese)

Fact sheet: “Talking to your teens about digital gaming” (Vietnamese)

Fact sheet: “Talking to your teens about digital gaming” (Arabic)

Fact sheet: “Studying abroad and problem gambling”(English)

Fact sheet: “Young people, migration and problem gambling” (English)

Other GAP resources

As part of the project deliverables, the GAP project has developed in-language resources as part of the education program for people from the CALD communities. The five in-language evidence based information sheets below include key messages and referral information in a format that suits and is appropriate for the specific community. They are developed to raise the awareness of problem gambling issues and its related harm. The information sheets (both in English and community language) can be shared and utilised by community members, ethno specific community organisations and service providers/facilities where CALD community members access.

Assyrian: “How does gambling affect my life”



Dari: “Gambling is not a fast way to make Money”



Hazaragi: “What else can your kids do with their digital devices”



Punjabi: “Sports betting and road to recovery”



Tamil: “How does problem gambling affect my life”



Other recommended resources

MCWH has a rich collection of in-language resources on a range of different topics around problem gambling. To discuss more about your needs and request the resources, please contact Carmela Pitt, Multilingual Library & Resource Coordinator, on, or +61 3 9418 0910 or browse our online library.

We also recommend community members and educators to explore the Gambler’s Help page on “Help in other languages” for other relevant English and in-language resources.

Peer Support

In 2015, the GAP project conducted a peer support program among Arabic, Chinese and Vietnamese women who are affected by gambling related harm in Victoria. The program aims to reduce the harm and stigma around problem gambling and is piloted with women from three communities.

Incorporating tailored art activities and facilitated by an experienced bi-lingual health educator, the 5-10 weeks’ program provided the participants with a safe space to share their own stories and managed to nurture a trusted and supportive relationship among them.

The program also featured partnership and close collaboration with an ethnic specific support service, i.e., the SICMAA, which has made the warm handover and ongoing support available for the participants.

To learn more about the pilot project, call us on 03 9418 0917 or contact

To access our Peer Support Session Flyer in English: GAP Peer Support (English)

To access our Peer Support Session Flyer in Vietnamese: GAP Peer Support (Vietnamese)

To access our Peer Support Session Flyer in Arabic:[GAP Peer Support (Arabic)]

What's going on with Partner Organisations?

Arabic Welfare Inc.

Arabic Welfare Inc. actively addresses the needs of individuals and families of diverse Arabic speaking backgrounds that face disadvantage and difficulty when accessing services.

As a core Foundation-funded organisation, Arabic Welfare Inc. is running a gambling project, QOWEH, to further support the Arabic speaking community by providing knowledge, information, support and early intervention with issues of gambling.

QOWEH aims to address the issues of gambling in the Arabic speaking community and the impact gambling has on those involved through:

  1. Education and awareness about the dangers, risks and effects gambling has on the health and wellbeing on the individual, family and friends.
  2. Normalising help seeking by removing the shame and cultural stigma associated with gambling and counselling
  3. Early intervention and prevention (one-on-one counselling, peer connection, group therapy, community consultations, workshops and appropriate referrals).

For more information on Arabic Welfare’s QOWEH, click here.

Australian Vietnamese Women's Association (AVWA)

AVWA provides a framework for mainly Vietnamese women to collaborate and learn to lead and operate a not-for-profit organisation to assist the settlement and harmonious integration of refugees and migrants of Vietnamese and other backgrounds in Victoria.

As a part of the AVWA Rehabilitation, Health and Well Being program, Gambling Counselling service is being provided to Vietnamese Victorians residing in the Inner City, Western, Northern and Eastern Regions. Professionally trained staff, funded by the Foundation, deliver high quality counselling either face to face, on call or via email under strict confidentiality procedures. We also provide support and referrals to gamblers, their family members and all those affected by gambling problems.

To view AVWA’s Gambling Counselling Brochure (English-Vietnamese): AVWA Gambling Counselling

Don’t Bet Your Life…

AVWA is also running a state-wide preventative project funded by the Foundation titled “Don’t Bet Your Life”, which aims at increasing awareness of the detrimental effects of gambling in the Vietnamese community in Victoria. The project targets all generations using Vietnamese language with the first and the 1.5 generations and English language with the second and third generations. Activities focus on areas with a high concentration of Vietnamese residents such as Brimbank, Maribyrnong, Yarra and Springvale.

To view AVWA’s “Don’t Bet Your Life” brochure (Vietnamese): AVWA “Don’t Bet Your Life”

For more general information about AVWA’s services, download their flyer: AVWA

Or view their website here.

Chinese Gambling Concern Inc. (CGCI)

CGCI provides community education on and raising the awareness of the ethnic Chinese staying in Victoria about the social and financial problems caused by or connected with harmful gambling.

As another core Foundation-funded organisation, CGCI provides telephone hotline service for gamblers and their relatives and friends. The service is free and is provided by volunteers who have received training provided by professional counsellors (general and financial).

For more information on CGCI and its services, see their website here.

For more information on CGCI’s upcoming events, see their events calendar here

Springvale Indo-Chinese Mutual Assistance Association Inc. (SICMAA)

SICMAA provides free-of-charge, direct practical assistance and counselling services to the disadvantaged Indo-Chinese people in the Australian society who may suffer disadvantages due to lack of English and/or equal access to mainstream services in order to improve their conditions and their equal participation in the society.

SICMAA assumes the following objectives:

  1. To create an environment in which Cambodians, Laotians, Vietnamese and Chinese from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam to work together towards the achievement of their common goals.
  2. To facilitate the integration of the Indo-Chinese Community into Australian society.
  3. To provide free-of-charge, direct practical assistance and counselling services to the disadvantaged Indo-Chinese people in the Australian society who may suffer disadvantages due to lack of English and/or equal access to mainstream services in order to improve their conditions and their equal participation in the society.
  4. To promote the spirit of mutual assistance within the Association and in relation with their ethnic groups.

For further information on SICMAA and its services, view their website here.

Victorian Arabic Social Services (VASS)

VASS is a state-wide key service provider with specialist expertise and knowledge in working with communities from Arabic-speaking backgrounds and advocating on their behalf.

Through its work:

  1. VASS is committed to serving ASB communities by remaining non-political, non-religious, non-sectarian and inclusive of all Arabic speaking community groups.
  2. VASS recognises the cultural, religious and regional diversity of Arabic speaking communities.
  3. VASS acknowledges the common threads that bind members of the 22 Arabic speaking countries located in the world.
  4. VASS’ work is underpinned by community development principles which aim to develop the citizenship status of Arabic speaking communities through improved access to services, decision making and civic participation.
  5. VASS supports and adheres to the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.
  6. VASS values inclusivity and adopts an inclusive framework to its operations and does not refuse its services to people of non-Arabic backgrounds.

For more information on VASS and its services, view their website here.

Federation of Chinese Association (FCA)

Federation of Chinese Association (FCA) has delivered social services to the Victorian Chinese communities since 1979. It provides social and interpersonal support services across great Melbourne area, and easily accessible sub-branch offices in Dandenong, Springvale, St Albans, and Oakleigh, where high proportions of Chinese speaking population live.

FCA Chinese Gambler’s Help (CGH) is fully fund by VGRF and we are active as an In Language Services within VGRF’s metalinguistic network. CGH aims to provide integrated services to provide supports to Chinese-speaking individuals and family members who are experiencing difficulties because of gambling. On-site financial and therapeutic counseling services will be provided for the clients to overcome these difficulties for the betterment of their relationship with friends and family members. CGH also assists clients to use existing services within the human services and public health networking in Victoria, so as to achieve, in their best interest, the maintenance of their wellbeing and ideal life style.

For more information on FCA and CGH, please ring Project Officer and Counsellor Bear Lin at (03) 9650 1293 or visit FCA’s office at Suite 6, Level 4, 20 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000.

For further information on this project, please contact Health Promotion and Research Project Officer Yue Gao on or +61 3 9418 0917.