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Diverse and still united

United in diversity

More than 70 community leaders from the sub-continent representing 16 different cultural associations have united to improve access to aged care services for cultural minorities in NSW.

They came together on Saturday 25th June at Burwood Coronation Club for a Uniting forum on aged care services for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities. Uniting is the largest non-profit aged care provider in NSW.

The day was spent exploring future partnerships for providing services and supporting communities to run their own programs. It was also an opportunity for cultural associations to share their experiences with each other.

‘At Uniting we want to build relationships and strengthen community connections to assist elders of ethnic minority groups to access culturally appropriate care and support,’ said Anne Kalra, forum MC and Uniting Team Leader for Health and Wellbeing Independent Living.

‘With 20,000 aged care clients in NSW and ACT, Uniting wants to make sure people from all backgrounds can make informed choices about how to use available services to live the lives they wish to live. The forum reinforced our belief that this requires a tailored holistic approach that encompasses the cultural, social, physical and spiritual needs of each community.’

Uniting already provides culturally-specific aged care services for people from 21 different language groups. The organisation will use the input from participants at the forum to shape its future work with different communities, and to tackle barriers people may face in accessing appropriate aged care.

‘The input from community leaders was invaluable and we are deeply grateful for the wisdom that was shared,’ said Ms Kalra.

‘Uniting sees cultural diversity as an asset. There is a wonderful sense of engagement, understanding, social connection and fun when people can enjoy services that value their own individuality and their culture, community and language.’

The forum had speakers from Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care and Alzheimer’s Australia.

To get involved or for more information on Uniting services, contact Anne Kalra on 02 8878 6431 or at akalra@uniting.org