Coming out, coming home or inviting people in? Supporting same-sex attracted women from immigrant and refugee communities

Submitted by Sunil Patel on Tuesday, 18 October 2011 - 1:55am.

The Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health also provides cross-cultural training to health and community professionals that engage with and/or deliver services to immigrant and refugee women, with the aim of improving culturally-appropriate service delivery. Regular training is also provided to the MCWH bilingual health educators to update and expand their knowledge and skills.

In response to the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council (AGMC) conference recommendation about the need for training for bicultural and bilingual
community workers, the Understanding Sexuality Project was implemented through the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health. The project’s aim was to build the capacity of bicultural and bilingual community workers, including the MCWH bilingual health educators, to support same-sex attracted women from their
ethnic communities. More specifically, the project’s objectives were to:

  • Consult with key stakeholders, including representatives from relevant GLBTIQ groups, bicultural and bilingual community workers, and lesbian health professionals, to gain an understanding about the experiences and support needs of same-sex attracted women from immigrant and refugee communities;
  • Conduct a brief review of relevant training modules, where available;
  • Develop a one-day training program that covers a range of topics including diversity within sexuality and sexual identity; culturally-specific approaches to understanding same-sex attraction; disclosure; supporting same-sex attracted family members and friends; and dealing with homophobia and discrimination;
  • Deliver the training program to the MCWH bilingual health educators;
  • Conduct evaluation of the one-day training program for the MCWH bilingual health educators; and
  • Produce and disseminate a succinct report so that the outcomes of the project are widely known among key stakeholders.

This report has three chapters. This first chapter has provided a brief overview of the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health and the Understanding Sexuality Project. Presented in Chapter 2 are the project findings, while key recommendations are presented in Chapter 3.

Format: Report
Web link: www.mcwh.com.au
Author: Carolyn Poljski