24 July 2023

Resources available in six languages to encourage and prompt older people and their loved ones to think and talk about planning for later life.


The Australian Human Rights Commission is undertaking a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of planning ahead for later life.

Future planning empowers older people to have choice and control over their senior years and provides peace of mind for them and their loved ones.

It involves thinking and talking to those you trust about your future healthcare, financial and lifestyle choices.

A suite of resources is available in English, Mandarin, Italian, Vietnamese, Greek and Arabic to encourage and prompt older people and their loved ones to think and talk about planning for later life.

Visit this Australian Human Rights Commission webpage to find:

  • Social media assets
  • Community videos
  • Conversation guides
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Radio ads
26 June 2023

Arabic speaking GPs are being sought to champion the Arabic-speaking breast screening community engagement initiative.

The initiative is addressing the low breast cancer screening rates among Arabic-speaking women in South Western Sydney.

BreastScreen South Western Sydney, South Western Sydney Local Health District, Cancer Institute NSW and other key agencies and organisations, including SWSPHN, have partnered to develop an Arabic-speaking Breast Screening Community Engagement Plan.

Through culturally appropriate education and activities, the plan aims to improve breast screening participation rates and address barriers to screening for eligible women.

The project team is targeting the Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool LGAs which have the highest numbers of women not undertaking breast screening, but is also engaging across the region.

If you would like to champion this project or have any questions, please contact SWSPHN Priority Populations Program Advisor Rachael Taylor via email at Rachael.Taylor@swsphn.com.au

01 June 2023

You’re invited to an online forum on Tuesday, 20 June which focuses on Engaging Effectively with Refugee Communities.

The forum will be presented by NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service in partnership with NSW Refugee Health Service and Settlement Services International, and supported by NSW Ministry of Health.

Find out more / register
24 May 2023

Most of us get up each morning, have breakfast then start our day’s activities, whether it be dropping the children off at school, heading to work or starting our household chores.

Each day we have purpose. Our purpose co-exists within our community – and that community has our back. But there’s many people in our community who don’t share the same security and purpose, and their futures are in limbo.

Refugee Week, this year from Sunday, 18 June to Saturday, 24 June with World Refugee Day on 20 June, reminds Australians of our neighbours who have fled their homelands due to conflict or human rights violations. Their refugee status means they are simply asking for permanent protection.

The theme of Refugee Week 2023 is “Finding Freedom”, whether that be through a new home, a new career, or finding love or friendships. Through Refugee Week resources and events, organisers are highlighting freedom should be a given and a way of life, not an ask and a challenge.

The over-arching aims of Refugee Week are:

  • To educate the Australian public about who refugees are and why they have come to Australia
  • To help people understand the many challenges refugees face coming to Australia
  • To celebrate the contribution refugees make to our community
  • To focus on how the community can provide a safe and welcoming environment for refugees
  • For community groups and individuals to do something positive for refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people, within Australia but also around the world
  • For service providers to reflect on whether they are providing the best possible services to refugees
Find out more
10 May 2023

The strong focus on primary care, with the tripling of the bulk billing incentive and investment in the health workforce to better meet the health needs of the Australians in the 21st century, were among the welcome features of Tuesday’s Federal Budget.

South Western Sydney Primary Health Network (SWSPHN) Acting Chief Executive Officer, Kristen Short, said there was little doubt primary care had been struggling in recent years, with fewer practices in a position to bulk bill, further highlighting the need for strong and ongoing funding commitment for the sector.

“The $3.5 billion committed to bulk billing incentives, $98.2 million for new Medicare rebates for patients who require consultations of longer than 60 minutes and $445.1 million to support team-based care in general practice, are welcome measures to support the revival and protection of a healthcare system which has served us well for decades,” she said.

Other investments of interest to primary care, in particular general practices in South Western Sydney include:

  • $358.5 million for Medicare Urgent Care Clinics
  • $143.9 million for after hours primary care
  • $91.5 million to improve mental health by addressing workforce shortages

Ms Short said SWSPHN had a particular focus on innovative projects like iRAD, the New to General Practice Nursing program and My Care Partners to build capacity and support our general practices in delivering accessible, effective and timely care to our community.

She noted investment in digital health ($951.2 million); increasing the number of nurses in primary care ($10.7 million); and increasing incentives for general practices to employ a range of health professionals to provide team-based primary care ($445.1 million) would support those projects which were already improving the health of our region.

“Primary care is the cornerstone of our healthcare system, and SWSPHN looks forward to continuing to work with and support primary care providers across our region on the projects, services and other activities funded in this budget.

“We particularly welcome the focus in the budget on multidisciplinary team care and voluntary patient enrolment and look forward to seeing how it complements our local medical neighbourhood model of care, My Care Partners, which has been working for the past two years to reduce avoidable hospital admissions and enhance care coordination for people with multiple chronic diseases.”

19 April 2023

SWSPHN has funded a theatre project which focuses on mental health stigma, and promotes mental health support and recovery in Arabic speaking communities.

The play, The Black Box, features natural disaster themes and aims to increase community awareness of how to access mental health services during a natural disaster, and encourage people to talk more openly about the impact of mental health.

The shows will be performed on:

  • Friday, 26 May, 6.30pm at Casula Powerhouse, 1 Powerhouse Road, Casula
  • Friday, 9 June, 6.30pm at Fairfield School of Arts, 19 Harris Street, Fairfield

Find details on how to register for the shows.

Download the flyer
11 April 2023

Individuals and organisations working with refugees need to recognise and respond appropriately to the unique vulnerability and specific needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and gender diverse peoples. 

In many parts of the world, individuals are still subject to serious human rights abuses because of their real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics, particularly when these do not conform to dominant social and cultural norms. 

Severe persecution and discrimination in more than 70 countries continues to force LGBTIQ+ persons – including children, youth, older people and people with disabilities – to leave their home in search of a safe environment in which they can fully exercise their rights. 

The Australian Government has promised to fulfil refugee quotas during the next four years with additional places given to Afghani refugees.

Between 2021 and2026 there will be some 31,500 permanent visa places for Afghani refugees.

Priority will be given to locally engaged employees and their immediate family, family members of class XB visa holders, women, girls, ethic minorities, LGBTIQ+, and other identified minority groups seeking refuge. 

The NSW Refugee Health Service has developed a series of informative webinars to give participants the opportunity to learn about different refugee health topics from experts in the field. The first in the series on Friday, 21 April, at 12pm is about The impact of displacement on the health of LGBTQI+. Register to receive your e-ticket and link to login on the day.

22 March 2023

SWSPHN staff joined the Harmony Week celebrations last week with activities which gave everyone the opportunity to share, learn and appreciate Australian multiculturalism.

Harmony Week, 20 to 26 March, is about inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians, regardless of cultural or linguistic background, united by a set of core Australian values.

The message of Harmony Week is everyone belongs.

We held our activities on Harmony Day on Tuesday, 21 March.

Our staff wore orange, the colour chosen to represent Harmony Week, while:

  • Enjoying a lunch of flavours from around the world
  • Hearing first-hand the experiences of a staff member who came to Australia as a refugee in 1993 to escape the Bosnian war
  • Pinning our places of cultural identity on a world map
  • Participating in the How diverse is your universe? activity

Harmony Day / Harmony Week









Find out more about Harmony Week
21 March 2023

GPs are being sought to participate in a working group to kickstart conversations about how different models of brain health lifestyle care can be used to support multi-ethnic individuals living in South Western Sydney.

Our region has a large multicultural population, with 54.1 per cent of households speaking a non-English language (compared to NSW’s average of 26.5 per cent).

Dementia prevention is a major public health priority yet programs targeting lifestyle and dementia risk modification are yet to be broadly implemented into practice and have been developed mainly using a Western-centric model of care.

Primary care professionals are often the first point of contact for older adults. As such, general advice and support discussions on lifestyle factor management are best suited to be provided in primary care.

Although key Australian policy guidelines specify a role for GPs to promote brain health, it is not routinely delivered, with only 15 per cent of Australian patients hearing about dementia from their GP.

The working group will aim to bridge the gap between current practice and routine promotion of brain health for dementia risk reduction. 

If you’re interested in joining the working group, please contact Dr Joyce Siette, Research Theme Fellow Health and Wellbeing from Wester Sydney University, via email at Joyce.Siette@westernsydney.edu.au

16 February 2023

You are invited to a health forum to promote International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting.

The theme for this forum is: Partnering with men and boys to transform social and gender norms to end FGM.

When: Tuesday, 28 February 2023, from 11am to 1pm

Where: Westmead education and conference centre. Level 1 Education block L1.02 Cabaret
Cnr Hawksbury and Darcy Roads, Westmead.


Speakers include:

  • Nesrin Varol Clinical Associate Professor at Sydney Medical School: “Health consequences of FGM on women/girls”.
  • Dr Ngatho Mugo, NSW Health “Make your voice heard: understanding men’s perceptions, views and opinions about FGM”.
  • Mr Vedi Kurnia Buana, Consulate General of Indonesia
  • Q&A led by A/Prof Olayide, Ogunsiji, WSU: “The role of men and boys in the community to stop FGM practise”

This is a free forum and includes light refreshments.

Register online with Eventbrite


For more information please contact:

Dr Ngatho Mugo Community Education Officer: NSW Education program on FGM/C; Mob: 0427360692; E: Ngatho.Mugo@health.nsw.gov.au

Dipti Zachariah Multicultural Health Team Leader, Statewide and Specialist Programs; Mob: 0400524065