Speak My Language radio for multicultural older Australians

Older Australians from culturally diverse backgrounds will benefit from increased access to aged care information, with the launch of the Speak My Language radio project, funded by $1 million from the Federal Government.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt AM said Speak My Language would play a vital role in keeping multicultural communities up to date by providing the latest aged care information in languages they understand and are comfortable with.

“Talking about aged care and navigating the aged care system can be daunting for older Australians and their families, particularly those from diverse backgrounds", Mr Wyatt said.

The project will engage 160 bilingual aged care facilitators and ethnic radio programs across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

“More than 1,000 people’s stories will be broadcast live and podcast to promote ageing well,” said Mr Wyatt.

“Over 600,000 older Australian people were born in countries where English is not the first language.

The first broadcasts will be in Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Serbian, Macedonian, Hindi, Arabic and English, with this building to include up to 25 language groups.

The project also includes online and social media resources, and links aged care providers offering services for ethnic groups with radio hosts to build understanding of the sector.

The Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW Inc is coordinating the project and expects messages to reach around 50,000 seniors and their families each week.

The $1 million initiative was supported by the Federal Government’s Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund.

“Cultural diversity in our aged care system is set to increase in future years. With 45 per cent of Australians born overseas, or with at least one parent who was, multicultural Australia has become contemporary mainstream Australia,” Mr Wyatt said.

22 August 2018.