Providing culturally appropriate support to MRC Tas clients
Across Tasmania, MRC Tas is working with a diverse and incredibly unique population. Given this diversity, specialised support is often required to ensure services can effectively engage with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. This is where bicultural workers come in.
At MRC Tas, bicultural workers are employed to facilitate cross-cultural communication and understanding, and have a unique role in supporting CALD community members from the same background. Each brings their own valuable insight and cultural knowledge to the work they do. Nagham, a bicultural worker with MRC Tas, highlights how her own experiences have shaped her role. “My experiences have helped me to understand the needs of my clients as all of us have come from a refugee background. I have experienced life as a refugee, which not many other people have. These experiences bring me closer to clients as l can empathise with them.”
The goal of these workers is to assist clients in building the skills and knowledge needed to access services and support independently. They enrich communication and understanding between clients and MRC Tas staff, helping to strengthen service delivery and ensure better outcomes for clients. As Davan Ong, Bicultural and Learning Services Officer at MRC Tas, explains, the role of bicultural workers is multifaceted. As well as providing individual and group support, bicultural workers help to “bridge the gap between CALD clients and MRC Tas, as they share a similar or the same cultural background and language.”
For Nagham, working with individuals from similar backgrounds to her own is a rewarding experience. “All their experiences are different, and every meeting is a reward. Striking these friendships with those that are quite similar to me, learning their cultures and appreciating their traditions is what my job is all about.”
“I have always enjoyed the feeling of helping others. MRC Tas is an extension of my home life, it’s wonderful that I can do what I love every day,” says Nagham.
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