Mater Foundation supports individuals and families disadvantaged by health or social circumstances in the Brisbane region.
Each year, approximately 2,000
refugees arrive in Brisbane. The health and wellbeing of people of a
refugee background is a crucial part of their successful settlement, but
sadly, health outcomes among refugee communities in Australia are
typically poor. The complexity of a refugee's health care needs often
stems from experiences of war-related trauma, torture or long term
settlement in refugee camps with a lack of health care.
To help address this need, in 2011 nib
foundation supported the establishment of the Mater's Refugee Women as
Health Leaders Program that trained eight refugee women as skilled
health leaders to act as health conduits between refugees and the health
In addition to improving health
literacy, this innovative program identified a range of unique barriers
and challenges experienced by these eight communities in accessing the
health system, and this evidence is now being used to inform policy
development and health service planning.
In 2013/2014 we extended our support
to Mater Foundation to enable this successful model to be replicated
with the creation of the Refugee Youth as Health Leaders program
that focuses on developing young adult refugees aged 18 to 25 into
health liaisons between their communities and the public health system.
These young health leaders will contribute to the design and delivery of
local health services that respond to the specific needs of refugees in
the Brisbane community.
For more information visit: www.materfoundation.org.au.