Multicultural health

The Brisbane South PHN region is home to a relatively large proportion of people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds and is the area of highest refugee settlement within the state. Nearly a third (30%) of Queensland’s population of people born overseas live in our region. The Brisbane South PHN Multicultural Health Program aims to improve the health outcomes and experiences of people of CALD backgrounds by collaborating with partners to ensure that primary health care is accessible, culturally appropriate and inclusive. Our objectives include building capacity in primary care, improving health literacy for CALD communities and sector capacity building and integration.

This page is for health care professionals and service providers. It outlines some of our key initiatives and resources that can support you in providing care to people of CALD backgrounds.

Refugee health

Refugee Health Connect

Refugee Health Connect (RHC) is a partnership between Brisbane South PHN, Brisbane North PHN, Mater Health Services, and Metro South Hospital and Health Service aimed to support primary care in working with people of refugee backgrounds.

RHC builds the skills and capabilities of primary care to manage the care of refugee families in a culturally and clinically appropriate manner.

Practices are provided with:

  • peer-to-peer education from Brisbane South PHN’s clinical leads – a GP and practice nurse who have extensive experience in refugee health
  • in-house practice support and guidance
  • cultural awareness training
  • clinical education events
  • resource folders for clinical and administration staff.

If you would like to become a ‘refugee ready’ practice, contact RHC on 07 3864 7580.

Refugee Health Connect is also one point of contact for all aspects of refugee health.

RHC can assist you with navigating the refugee health space and linking people from refugee backgrounds to appropriate providers in order to improve health access and engagement. Linkages are made based on factors such as the patient’s location, complexity of needs and cultural requirements.

Contact details:

PHONE: 07 3864 7580


Allied Health Professionals

Interpreting for Allied Health Professionals

Brisbane South PHN has established the Interpreting for Allied Health Professionals program to:

  • support access to private allied health services for non-English speaking clients
  • ensure interpreter services are available to private allied health services to communicate with non-English speaking clients.

The program is available within the Brisbane South PHN region through a capped funding stream, and will be delivered by Translating and Interpreting Services (TIS) National at no cost to the allied health service. The program includes access to immediate and pre-booked phone interpreting and onsite interpreting. In return, allied health services must agree to complete cross-cultural use of interpreter training and participate in a program evaluation survey. This program is available to a limited number of allied health disciplines including: diabetes educators, dietitians, physiotherapists, psychologists, exercise physiologists, podiatrists, dentists, optometrists, speech pathologists, audiologists, mental health nurses, social workers and occupational therapists.

Due to the high number of Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) now registered for the ‘Interpreting for AHPs Program,’ Brisbane South PHN are reviewing each new application with consideration to local need and program capacity. If an AHP would like to be considered for the program, they should send a completed EOI to or fax to 07 3864 7599. Brisbane South PHN will communicate the outcome of the EOI via email.

Multilingual Allied Health Professionals

We have developed a directory of multilingual allied health professionals (AHPs) to better support healthcare needs in our culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. This resource is available for anyone seeking an AHP who may be able to provide a service in a language other than English. To access or register for our multilingual AHP directory, please see the following resources.




  • Refugee Health Network Queensland – includes a comprehensive range of refugee health resources (clinical and administration), translated resources for clients, information about refugee health services in Queensland, links to upcoming education, videos of past education and more
  • Australian Refugee Health Practice Guide -a resource to support doctors, nurses and other primary care providers to deliver comprehensive, evidence informed health care for people from refugee backgrounds including people seeking asylum.  The Guide draws on the Recommendations for comprehensive post-arrival health assessment for people from refugee-like backgrounds (Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases & Refugee Health Network of Australia, 2016) and good practice approaches from practitioners working with people from refugee backgrounds. It contains links to resources and state referral information that has been compiled by local services.
  • Working with patients when there are language barriers – a guide to accessing and using the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) National for primary care health professionals working in private practice
  • Tips for general practice administration working with patients of refugee background
  • ECCQ My health for life information sheet
Use of an ambulance

Accessing the right emergency services at the right time is important in saving lives. Some migrant communities do not call for an ambulance because they do not know how to. Some are worried about what will happen to them in the ambulance, how much it will cost or that they will not be understood if they do not speak English well.

This video aims to make sure everyone in the community has equal access to an ambulance in their time of need and is aware of how they work and what to expect when paramedics arrive.

The video is available in English, Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Dari, S’gaw Karen, Somali, Swahili, Tigrinya, and Vietnamese.

This work was a collaboration between Brisbane South PHN, Welcome 360Queensland Ambulance Service and Multicultural Development Australia.

Intellectual rights of the videos are with Welcome 360. If you would like to translate this video into other languages please contact Welcome 360.