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Multicultural Festival 2023

2 March 2023

By Darcy Whitmore

On Sunday 19 February, members of our Community Participation Team (Pene, Darcy, C, Michiko, Nadia, and Caitlin) set up an HCCA stall at the Multicultural Festival. We talked with consumers about our organisation, and about their experiences and expectations of health care in the ACT. It was wonderful to see the festival run after a three-year break due to COVID restrictions.

The HCCA stall was under the shady trees in Ainslie Place, next to the Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra (MCCI) and DonateLife ACT stalls. We were also lucky enough to be close to the Chinese Showcase stage, so we could hear performances all day. We had some great Ethiopian and Turkish food stalls in our area. Some friendly members of the Samoan community stopped by throughout the morning to bring us food from surrounding stalls.

A photo of one corner of our stall, showing our colourful HCCA tablecloth, a stack of blank paper pieces to write on, some potted plants, and a range of paper resources with information for people to take with them.
We loved having a bit of our own greenery in the stall – it made it feel more welcoming!

More than 70 people stopped by to collect some helpful resources and chat with us about:

  • What HCCA does and how consumers can get involved,
  • How they can navigate the ACT health system,
  • Which services are available in the ACT, and
  • What the current barriers are to accessing the healthcare system.

We were able to talk with consumers about some of the new and existing services available, such as:

Bunting (paper decorations in a row on a string) have been made out of paper stars, hearts, and flowers. They are pink, orange, yellow, green, red, and blue. Each has an answer written on it, and in the middle is the questions "What would YOU like to see in a new hospital?"
A little bit of the feedback we got from people who stopped to talk.

We asked community members to let us know what they would like to see in the new Northside Hospital. The ACT Government is planning to build a new hospital in Canberra’s North to meet the growing population’s demand for health care.

People wrote what was most important to them on paper. We received nearly 50 different answers! We created a banner with the feedback, which got the attention of passers-by. It was great talk to people about what they would like to see addressed in new facilities and services. Answers included:

  • Inclusive and holistic care
  • Improved wayfinding
  • Integrated care
  • Nutritious food
  • Friendly and valued staff
  • Healing outdoor and community spaces
  • Gender-affirming care
  • Accessible transport
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