The current COVID-19 pandemic has shone a stark spotlight on and has exacerbated health inequities and disparities already experienced by culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Australia.
Looking ahead and beyond the immediate focus on COVID-19, many systemic issues need to be addressed that impact on the health and wellbeing of CALD communities.
Some of these include:
There is a need for a national voice on these issues: the proposed Australian Multicultural Health Collaborative.
The main objective of the Collaborative is to provide a national voice, leadership and advice on policy, research and practice to improve access and equity and achieve better health and wellbeing outcomes for Australians from CALD backgrounds.
The Collaborative will be in a unique position to legitimately represent the voices of CALD health at the national level through a formal membership structure which includes CALD consumers and draws on their lived experience, together with health and wellbeing services, professionals and practitioners, and researchers and institutions for whom the primary focus is CALD health.
The Collaborative will also be inclusive of ‘mainstream’ services and organisations with a significant commitment to CALD health and wellbeing, and will enter into partnerships with relevant national organisations.
The title ‘Collaborative’ is important as an indication as to how members will work – that is in genuine collaboration on agreed policy priority areas, drawing on each other’s focus and expertise on particular issues.