The Water Well Project is a not-for-profit, health promotion charity which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers by improving health literacy. Our vision is that all migrants, refugees and asylum seekers achieve equitable access to healthcare to enable them to live full lives and contribute to the wider community.
Summary of aims:
- Community participants)
- Positive experience with Australia healthcare professionals that builds trust in healthcare system
- Improved understanding how to navigate the Australian Healthcare System, in areas of both acute and preventative medicine
- Encourage effective utilisation of healthcare resources and providers
- Flow on effect of passing on health knowledge to families and wider communities
- Promote healthy and appropriate health-seeking behaviours
- Volunteer Healthcare Professionals
- Strengthened communication skills, in particular in dealing with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) individuals and communities
- Relevant experience in communicating to audiences using an interpreter
- Enhanced ‘roundedness’ as health professionals through educating others on diversity of health topics
- Healthcare System
- Increased appropriateness of presentations of migrant and refugee groups for treatment of health conditions
- More effective, informed health consultations by community members with local hospitals, general practitioners, specialists, refugee health nurses and allied health
- Increased access to available preventative health interventions (for example breast screen, pap smears, childhood vaccinations)
- Establishment of partnerships with community and health support groups
- Strengthening cultural competency within volunteer healthcare workers who work within the healthcare system
- To improve the physical and mental health of all migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, in Victoria- by improving their health literacy.
- All migrants, refugees and asylum seekers achieve equitable access to health education, care and resources to promote wellbeing.
- Healthcare volunteers gain a better understanding of cultures, as well as improved communication skills with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) individuals and communities.
Why 'The Water Well Project'?
In traditional communities, a river, water pump or water well signified a place where people met to gather water and talk, often informally, about their daily lives. The well itself is a universal metaphor for community, shared stories, knowledge and wellbeing.
Even though many communities no longer have a 'water well', we can still create these open spaces for exchange and conversation. Whether these spaces be in a community hall, in a park, or at a school.
Our project aims to find those public spaces within communities where people gather and extend conversations between healthcare professionals and community groups around practical health information for individuals and families.
Designed by a friend of the project, Dr Raf Ratinam, our logo represents people of diverse backgrounds and cultures coming together to solve local problems and create working solutions. As a whole, the logo represents the sense of collaboration through the interlocking of arms; and flow towards a coordinated centre, ie) the Water Well.
With thanks also to...
- Maddocks Lawyers
- Translating Interpreting Services (TIS)
- Australian Medical Association (AMA) Victoria
- Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners- refugee health working group: http://www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/refugeehealth
- The Australian Charity Guide- http://www.australiancharityguide.com/
We would like to thank the following people (who worked above and beyond the capacity of their organisations) for their assistance and guidance during the set-up of this initiative:
- Ms Marta Kreiser
- Ms Rebecca Pinney-Meddings
- Dr Joanne Gardiner
- Ms Sue Casey
- Ms Willow Kellock
- Ms May Maloney
- Ms Michelle Bourke
- Dr Sam Merriel, AMA Doctors in Training President 2011
- Dr James Hillis, AMA Doctors in Training Past-President 2010-11