Program improving the health of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Geelong

A grant of $3000 from the Geelong Community Foundation aims to help The Water Well Project give migrants, refugees and asylum seekers equitable access to healthcare to enable them to live full lives and contribute to the wider Geelong community.

The Water Well Project improves the health and wellbeing of people of migrant, refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds by improving their health literacy. The Project works closely with support organisations within the sector to develop culturally-sensitive and free health education sessions that are tailored to the needs and interests of community groups.

The name ‘The Water Well Project’ refers to people in traditional communities stopping to talk when they gather water. The Project’s focus is a community health program where people can meet in a safe space away from clinics and talk informally. Sessions delivered by volunteer health professionals provide a positive experience for community members interacting with members of the healthcare system and promote sustainable healthy behaviours.

Amanda Jennings, Geelong Liaison Officer and volunteer for The Water Well Project, said the project gives patients access to information to help them make decisions about their health and the health of their family.
“The interactive sessions delivered by The Water Well Project provide a direct link between doctors and other health professionals with migrant and refugee communities. If patients understand what is happening to them and what they can do to maintain their health, they will feel more in control and ask the right questions when dealing with health professionals. We’re empowering communities to improve the health of themselves and their families.”

Amanda is currently planning community sessions for 2017 in Geelong and recruiting more volunteer facilitators. Since its inception in 2011, the Project has delivered over 302 health information sessions in Victoria, with 16 of those in Geelong. Depending on demand, this year’s interactive sessions may include topics such as navigating the Australian healthcare system, men’s health, women’s health, healthy eating, mental health and heart health.

The Water Well Project is an exciting example of how collaboration, health education and advocacy can make a difference in the Geelong community. The Geelong Community Foundation is a proud supporter of this valuable work.

Call for volunteers (health professionals)

The Water Well Project in Geelong is seeking qualified Australian healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, midwives, allied health) and students in their final year of study to join their passionate team of volunteers who deliver information sessions.

Volunteers are provided with induction training (next session Saturday 8 April), which includes: an introduction to The Water Well Project, common refugee health issues, how to work effectively with interpreters and a workshop-based introduction to facilitation.

Health professionals who volunteer for The Water Well Project gain valuable experiences in working with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) individuals and communities, further develop their communication skills, connect with other volunteers, and have the fulfilment that comes from generously giving their time and expertise for a great purpose.

To enquire about volunteering, please contact
Amanda Jennings, Geelong Liaison Officer, The Water Well Project

To attend a session

To join the mailing list for upcoming interactive community sessions, please contact Amanda Jennings, details above.

Support the Geelong community by giving to the Foundation

Donate to the Geelong Community Foundation and support the incredible work of grantees such as The Water Well Project.