New and emerging culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities face unique issues to accessing support including language barriers, cultural differences, disrupted formal education, trauma related to war and ethnic persecution, and dwelling in under-serviced regions of Australia. These factors hinder community members’ understanding of Australian systems, so they often do not know which government services they can access for assistance or find it difficult to apply.
As a result, community members – especially the elderly – rely heavily on support from family and community leaders. However, COVID-19 further fragmented those interpersonal support networks already damaged in migration, increasing CALD seniors’ isolation and magnifying their other vulnerabilities.
This program responded to that crisis of need. A pilot program targeting the Filipino community was trialled from mid-2020 to the end of 2020. It expanded to a full program in five other CALD communities in late 2020-early 2021. It ended mid-2021 when funding was withdrawn.