On 4 December the Federal Member for Calwell, Maria Vamvakinou MP, launched the MCWH Common Threads Report and Best Practice Guide in Melbourne. Vamvakinou launched the publications on behalf of the Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek, and spoke passionately about her own experience and years of work with immigrant and refugee communities in her electorate.
The report is the culmination of a national and cross-cultural initiative to understand and articulate the issues, needs, values and experiences of immigrant and refugee women in relation to their sexual and reproductive health.
By focusing on the stories and experiences of women from four different cultural and linguistic groups (Chinese, Indian, Sudanese and Middle Eastern) alongside consultations with key health providers in the field, the Common Threads report is a compelling illustration of why definitions of health must incorporate the social determinants which affect wellbeing: factors such as gender, culture, language, and socio-economic situation. It is equally, a testament to the voices of immigrant and refugee women, and why these voices need to be heard and shared in a national forum.
Because of stories such as those in Common Threads, our new vision for MCWH is to be the national voice for immigrant and refugee women’s wellbeing in Australia.
The Common Threads Report and Best Practice Guide are essential reading for health practitioners working with migrants and refugees.