The Water Well Project is a not-for-profit initiative which aims to empower migrant and refugee community groups by improving health literacy.
Internationally there are 15.2 million refugees and 895 000 asylum seekers per year. Australia accepts 13,750 refugees each year (which may soon be extended).
Upon leaving their country, refugees and asylum seekers may experience torture, both physical and emotional trauma, destitution and extended periods in refugee camps.
Upon settlement, refugees and asylum seekers have many barriers to health and wellbeing. They need to learn our language, find appropriate employment, affordable housing for their families, as well as overcome potential stigma and discrimination.
The 'right to health'
The "highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental right of every human being" (WHO). Vulnerable and marginalised groups in societies experience a disproportionate level of health issues.
Pair communities & health professionals
We pair volunteer healthcare professionals with a refugee/migrant community group to deliver interactive health sessions.
Host health information sessions
In consultation with the community group, health topics for discussion are chosen and include: Healthy Eating/ Nutrition, Diabetes, Women's Health, Men's Health, Children's Health, vaccinations, sexual health... and many others.
Build confidence with health and healthcare
Our first session with each group entitled "Navigating the Australian Healthcare System" teaches communities how to most effectively access and utilise components of the Australian healthcare system.
Healthier and happier communities
We hope to empower participant individuals and communities to improve their health and wellbeing. Volunteer health professionals are given opportunities to make meaningful contributions to communities, and learn firsthand about refugee health issues.
Watch Us In Action
Our Founder and Chair Dr Linny Phuong discusses the project at one of our events.
- On behalf of the program and the clients themselves, I just want to thank you for the incredible work you have done for us. Through your involvement we have literally been able to transform the lives of our clients. We are grateful for the health sessions you have run for our clients over the past year. You have helped to empower our clients and have fostered their independence.Wesley City Mission
- The session warmed my heart - I am very keen to do another one!Anonymous - Volunteer
- The boys were very satisfied and we, as staff, thought that it was very well conducted by two professionals who have been friendly, knowledgeable and aware of the cultural difference of our clients.Case Worker from an Asylum Seeker Support Program
- We will use this information personally and for those around us and community.Anonymous - Community Member
- Anonymous - Volunteer
I thought the sessions were really well organised and I think the members were particularly interested in the sugar contents of different foods.
What Our Volunteers Enjoy Most
Hear our Volunteers talk openly about what they enjoyed most about their experience working with communities.
Last month, I had the privilege of running women’s and sexual health session at the Phoenix Youth Centre in...March 26, 2015
1. What is your background? Doctor/currently enrolled in a PhD at Unimelb. 2. What inspired you to become...March 23, 2015
I am proud to have been involved in The Water Well Project as Deputy Chair since its inception in...March 22, 2015
A personal perspective written by Ms Maria Nguyen, Final Medical Student Volunteer At some point during medical school, students will...March 8, 2015
Our Chair & Founder Dr Linny Kimly Phuong was a finalist in this year's NAB Women's Agenda Leadership Awards....February 27, 2015
1. What is your background? I am an Intern at East Grampians Health. My first year out as...February 23, 2015
1. What is your background? I grew up in Sydney and studied post-graduate medicine at Notre Dame after finishing...February 1, 2015
1. What is your background? I am a medical doctor from Myanmar and have recently completed Master of Public...February 1, 2015
We were welcomed with generous offers of tea and coffee, and smiles all round. “Sit, sit, make yourselves comfortable.”...October 26, 2014
We know that we all volunteer for the enjoyment of it, but it’s nice to be acknowledged too. So...October 23, 2014
We're very proud to be a Finalist in the 2014 Melbourne Awards within the "Contribution to Community" category....October 22, 2014
While I was walking towards the venue, I had two things in my mind : What have I got...October 5, 2014
Most of us have an altruistic streak. It’s one of the reasons why many choose to work in healthcare....August 9, 2014
At the recent AMA Dr Global Conference, we were awarded our second AMA Community Grant. These grants provide local health...August 8, 2014
"What does the red light mean?" I ask, holding up a large red paper circle. "STOP!!!" a roomful of...May 12, 2014
For six wonderful weeks earlier in 2014 I had the opportunity of volunteering with The Water Well...May 6, 2014
Dr Annie Kilpatrick has been a volunteer for The Water Well Project since our first ever induction session in...April 21, 2014
The Water Well Project felt honoured to be invited by Crossing Borders to present at their annual Victorian Refugee...April 13, 2014
Last year, a friend of mine asked if I wanted to do some volunteer work with her. I half-heartedly...April 6, 2014
I recently had the great fortune of attending an amazing two day course on Incidental Counselling, specifically on working...January 4, 2014
What better way to start the new year than to celebrate the success of 2013. At the start of...December 22, 2013
I’m sure I’m not the only person in the world to feel nervous about public speaking. I’m sure that...September 22, 2013
The Global Ideas Forum (GIF) sets itself aside from other conferences in that the goal of the forum is contribution...August 29, 2013
I’ve been involved with The Water Well Project as the Project Administrator over the last year. As a doctor,...July 20, 2013
Despite it being a chilly Melbourne evening on June 19, there was a buzz in the air as The...July 6, 2013
Many non-profit organisations that aim to improve the community share a common obstacle – that it is difficult to...June 9, 2013
The Water Well Project often provides health sessions to older refugee and migrant groups. In this blog post, we...June 2, 2013
On Tuesday 23rd April the inaugural Multicultural Sexual Health Network (MSHN) forum was launched by Georgie Crozier (Victorian Parliamentary...May 26, 2013
Our aim is to deliver 50 health sessions to refugee and migrant communities around Victoria by the end of 2013....May 18, 2013
The CAS (Community Assistance Support program) provides a systematic program to ensure correct enrolment in Medicare, arrange transport concessions, help set...May 13, 2013
In achieving its goal of improving the physical and mental wellbeing of refugees and migrants- The Water Well Project’s volunteers...April 5, 2013
- March 29, 2013
It is known that many refugees in Australia will often suffer poorer health than the people of their new country....March 25, 2013
Friends of The Water Well Project joined in on "One World Cup" hosted by the Victoria Police Soccer Club...March 17, 2013
Last month, The Water Well Project took part in Womens' Health West's inspiring "Lead On Again" two day program....February 24, 2013
Last Saturday, New Hope Foundation met The Water Well Project on our Family Fun Picnic Day at Kelly Park,...December 13, 2012
The Water Well Project is honoured to have been awarded a City of Melbourne Community Services Grant for 2013- under...October 24, 2012
The Water Well Project team presented the project during a Project Session on Sat 25th August at the inaugural...August 16, 2012
In traditional communities, a river, water pump or well signified a place where people met to gather water and...January 9, 2012