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National Launch of Speak My Language Program

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Minister for Ageing and Indigenous Health, the Honourable Ken Wyatt AM, MP launched the national Speak My Language Program in Canberra on Wednesday, 22 August 2018.

As the Queensland project partner, ECCQ’s CEO Garry Page and Program Coordinator Tracey Porter attended yesterday’s launch.

This new program, funded by the Commonwealth Government under the Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund Research and Innovation Grants 2017, uses stories and informal conversations on community radio to help older people and their families from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds understand the Australian aged care system and receive advice on healthy ageing.

Minister Wyatt said that navigating the aged care system can be daunting but that innovative, community based programs like Speak My Language make the journey easier, particularly for those who speak English as a second language.

The national Speak My Language program will engage 160 bilingual care facilitators and community radio stations in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and ACT and tell over a thousand stories about ageing.

ECCQ’s Community Care branch, Diversicare is currently rolling out stage one of the program by developing learning resources and engaging bilingual facilitators and ethnic radio programs. Diversicare will roll out up to 23 different radio programs in different languages across Queensland.

ECCQ CEO Mr Page says that this program uses peers to relay imperative information about ageing services and ageing well advice.

“Older people from CALD backgrounds will now be able to listen to conversations in their own language and hear stories they can relate to about ageing well in Australia,” he said. “They also have the opportunity to tell their own stories. This is a powerful tool to share vital information, change behaviours, overcome barriers and increase knowledge of available and appropriate services.”

The program is delivered by lead agency Ethnic Communities Council of NSW in collaboration with its partners, ECCQ Diversicare, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, SBS and National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasting Council.

Read the media release regarding the launch by lead agency ECCNSW here.

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