Two happy refugee women sitting at table in conversation

Our region is home to migrant and refugee populations, both recently arrived and those who have been settled for a generation. We know that the health needs of people who are displaced from their homes, whatever the reasons, are complex and often include both physical and mental health needs.

The range of languages spoken in our region shows communities of old and new, with different backgrounds and experiences, and different needs. Common non-English languages spoken include Italian, Mandarin, German, Greek and Filipino or Tagalog, with pockets of others such as Malayam (a language of southern India), Tongan and Hazaraghi.

Despite the challenges, refugee and asylum seeker communities consistently demonstrate strength and resilience in overcoming adversity to start a new life.

For people requiring assistance, there are a range of dedicated services available locally to support refugee health needs.

Health Navigators

Knowing who to see or where to go to get the care you need can often be confusing or overwhelming, particularly if you are not well, or your language skills are not strong. Murray PHN funds health system navigators, to assist people from underserviced groups, including refugees and people from cultural and linguistic diverse backgrounds, and those with multiple and complex, chronic conditions who repeatedly present to hospital or experience barriers in accessing health services. Local health navigator organisations – Primary Care Connect Shepparton and Bendigo Community Health Services – work closely with general practice and community services to provide direct, non-clinical support, health education and referral for people.

Other refugee health services in our region

Additional local support services

Key resources and support

  • Health Translations – A free library of Australian multilingual health and wellbeing information funded by the Victorian Government.
  • The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) – is an interpreting service provided by the Department of Home Affairs for people with limited English proficiency and for agencies and businesses that need to communicate with their non-English speaking clients.

Last Update: May 24th, 2024