Australian Unity launched its very first Community Participation for Seniors from Emerging Communities program two years ago.
The member-owned wellbeing company received a grant of $100,000 from the Victorian Government to deliver the program that has helped more than 600 community members across Filipino, Karen, Afghanistan, Ethiopian, Somali and Sudanese communities.
Chief Executive Officer for Independent and Assisted Living Kevin McCoy said that the program helped tackle social isolation and loneliness among seniors from Victoria's Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities by improving access to transport, services and support.
“For many people from CALD communities, English is their second language and they often feel isolated from the broader Australian society because they lack the confidence and knowledge of the services available to them,” Mr McCoy said.
The Community Participation for Seniors from Emerging Communities program has created awareness of the services and support available to CALD communities, such as:
- the Seniors Card program, including support to register online for a Seniors Card
- subsidised public transport, including support to create, use and maintain a Seniors myki account
- interpreter services
- other support services, as identified by seniors participating in the project.
Mr McCoy said he was proud that Australian Unity is supporting emerging communities right across Victoria to keep their elders connected with essential services and social activities.
“With a significant proportion of Australia’s population born overseas, it is crucial we provide services and programs specifically tailored to meet the needs of our culturally and linguistically diverse communities,” Mr McCoy said.
“I would like to thank the Australian Unity CALD Alliance Advisory Group for initiating and supporting the program and I look forward to continuing to work with the government on this important program.”
To view the seniors card videos in English and 7 emerging community languages and find out more about the Seniors Card and other services for seniors go to www.seniorsonline.vic.gov.au
To access project tools and resources go to https://www.seniorsonline.vic.gov.au/get-involved/for-organisations/onlinetoolbox/connecting-seniors/community-participation-for-seniors-from-emergingcommunities