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How do we do ‘cultural safety’ in the time of COVID-19?

Webinar series, 2020
Session: Community Voices
Wednesday 16th September 2020

This session explored the ongoing issues of inequity that have been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for communities living in public housing in inner city Melbourne. Panellists spoke about the current situation, discussed impacts on mental health and wellbeing, and explored what needs to be done. They spoke about the roles they are playing, as friends, allies and advocates.

Visit the webinar event page for more information

Session recording and transcript are published with the kind permission of panellists. Whilst all attempts were made to capture every word, we apologise for slight inconsistencies in the quality of the video. You are welcome to share this page. Please acknowledge the source, so that the ideas are tracked back to this session and attributed to the panellists who innovated them.

Advocacy is one of the four pillars that defines what we do at VTMH. We create opportunities to hear voices not often heard or listened to. We explore the links between mental health and enduring patterns of social inequality. We highlight these perspectives in our work with government, service providers, peak bodies and communities.

Some key timestamps

7:20     Instead of receiving health care professionals and cultural information we received 500 police officers

13:13   What are we in together?

16:15   Systemic issues that continuously are unaddressed

19:37   An amazing experience seeing people come together to help

29:50   The 6 R’s Approach – Reflective, Responsive, Responsible in the Response, Relational, Resources

34:14   Engaging and involving the right people

42:32   Overwhelming need for mental health to be addressed

52:33   Power will always be there, and power is a privilege

56:38   At the end of the day, who will hear me?


Tigist Kebede, Culturally-inclusive Counsellor, also known as ‘The Coloured Therapist’

Abdiqafar Ururshe, Spokesperson for Australian Muslim Social Services Agency (AMSSA) and board member of AMSSA Youth Connect

Summayyah Sadiq-Ojibara, Counsellor and Psychotherapist

Ahmed Dini, Co-founder of the Ubuntu Project


Shehani De Silva (VTMH)