New Radio Era Speaks the Language of Cultural Diversity and Ageing
Over 120 guests from across the country attended the launch of the Speak My Language Program held in Parliament House in Canberra on 22nd August 2018. The event was officiated by Minister for Ageing and Indigenous Health, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP with the ECCNSW and its partners ECCQ, ECCV and broadcasting partners SBS and NEMBC.
Older Australians from culturally diverse backgrounds will benefit from increased access to aged care information, with the launch of the Speak My Language radio project, funded by the Australian Government.
Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM said Speak My Language would play a vital role in keeping multicultural communities up to date by providing the latest aged care information in languages they understand and are comfortable with. “We owe our older Australians an inclusive aged care system, one that embraces diversity,” Minister Wyatt said.
The project will engage 160 bilingual aged care facilitators and ethnic radio programs across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.
“More than 1,000 stories shared by CALD seniors will be broadcast live and podcast to promote ageing well,” said Minister Wyatt.
The first broadcasts will be in Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Serbian, Macedonian, Hindi, Arabic and English, with this building to include up to 25 language groups.
The project also includes interactive online and social media resources, comprehensive training program for Bilingual Aged Care Workers and Ethnic Radio Hosts, and a partnership framework which links aged care providers with ethnic radio hosts to build understanding of the changes to aged care across Australia.
The Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW Inc together with its National Partners the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria, the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Queensland Diversicare, and broadcasting Partners SBS and NEMBC are working together to deliver the program across NSW, QLD, VIC, TAS and the ACT. The program is expected to reach over 50,000 seniors and their families through its online podcasts.
“Cultural diversity in our aged care system is set to increase in future years. With 45 per cent of Australians born overseas, or with at least one parent who was, multicultural Australia has become contemporary mainstream Australia,” Minister Wyatt said. “It is essential that this diversity is reflected in how we deliver aged care now and in the future.”
CEO of the Ethnic Communities Council NSW Ms Mary Karras and Ethnic Communities Council of NSW’s Chair Ms Marta Terracciano applauded all the partners, Bilingual Facilitators, consumers, Radio Programs and their Radio hosts and strongly encourage communities to contact the ethnic councils in their state to get involved. “There are so many stories which need to be heard, and we look forward to the providing this wonderful platform which will give a voice to our CALD seniors. We applaud the work of our Terrie Leoleos in leading this program as the National Manager, and the team behind her both within our ECC staff, and the staff of the partners involved. There is no doubt that we are off to a great start with the Speak My Language Program and we watch with interest to see the program build momentum over the next 12 months’.
Photos and an update on the program and the launch have now been posted on the Speak My language Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SpeakMyLang/ with a link to the recorded podcast of the event.
Bilingual aged care workers, consumers and ethnic radio hosts who are interested in the program are encouraged to contact the Ethnic Council of NSW, VIC or QLD to find out how to get involved in the national program.