Resources for Free

Cultural Competence in Working with People from Refugee Backgrounds Workshop Booklet (2015)


STARTTS is very pleased to make the ‘Cultural competence in working with people from refugee backgrounds’ workshop manual publically available. This incredible STARTTS resource was written and rolled out by Dr Belinda Green Ph.D., STARTTS Trainer in 2015. Since then it has been delivered to hundreds of workers, volunteers and students across the settlement, health, education, community and welfare sectors. The demand for this workshop has been high and the feedback has been outstanding. The workshop was designed to fit into the widely used cultural competence paradigm, but took it much further by incorporating trauma-informed practice based on the refugee experience into the framework. Therefore the ‘working with cultural competence with people from refugee backgrounds’ framework considers the impact that torture and other traumatic experiences in the context of persecution, political conflict, organised violence and forced displacement, have on resettlement

processes, understanding a new culture and finding a sense of belonging in Australian society. It also incorporates knowledge of the socio-political and cultural contexts of the main countries of origin and ethnicities of the major groups of people coming to Australia in recent years under the Humanitarian Program. The design and delivery of this workshop was commended by the Executive Director of the Health and Social Policy Branch, NSW Health, and was highlighted in the 2016 NSW Health Multicultural Policies and Services Program Report.

HACC Resource Kit (2011)

HACC WorkshopsThe Home and Community Care (HACC) Resource Kit is one component of information and training resources produced for the project, ‘Working with HACC clients from refugee-like backgrounds’.

The project was first commissioned by the then NSW Department of Ageing Disability and Home Care in 2008. It was the result of community consultations in the Cumberland Prospect and Nepean Local Planning Areas of Western Sydney in 2005, which identified the need for specialised training for HACC service providers to assist them respond appropriately to the needs of frail aged and disabled clients, and their carers, who are survivors of torture and refugee trauma. The project was expanded to include the North Sydney region in 2010 and the rest of NSW in 2011 and 2012.


Enhancing the Lives of Older Refugees (2012)

This resource was written by the Older Refugee Working Committee, of which STARTTS was a participant, and was sponsored by the Fairfield City Council. It presents a set of considerations which are necessary to ensure that assessment processes and aged care providers have the competency to work with and deliver services to older refugees. The resource is framed by cultural competency in which service providers and program managers need to have the knowledge, skills and empathy to enhance their engagement with older refugees.


Working with Refugees: A Guide for Social Workers (2004)

This resource was produced by the NSW Refugee Service and STARTTS under the guidance of a steering committee and with the support of social workers and multicultural health staff from the Bankstown, Fairfield and Liverpool Health Services. It portrays the diversity of refugees while at the same time guiding social workers in thinking about what is unique in the refugee experience and ways in which social workers can respond appropriately.


Promoting Refugee Health: A guide for doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers caring for people from refugee backgrounds (3rd edition, 2012)

This guide is a comprehensive guide with an array of resources, practice tips and summaries of key points. It includes clinical information on physical and mental health, cross-cultural communication as well as local referral details for health service providers that have expertise in refugee healthcare. This is the 3rd edition of this publication and was put together by the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture.


Caring for Refugee Patients in General Practice: A Desktop Guide –  New South Wales (4th edition, 2012)

This guide was produced to support GPs in caring for refugee patients. More detailed information can be found in the companion publication, Promoting Refugee Health: A guide for doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers caring for people from refugee backgrounds.


Guidelines for working with interpreters – for counselling and health care staff working with refugees (2011)

Interpreters are a vital part of providing quality health care for refugees. This guide was designed to provide a helpful overview of things to consider when working with interpreters, tips and approaches to use, and further resources.


Hints for Healing: Strengthening Refugee Children’s Resilience (Quarterly e-zine)

Hints for Healing is STARTTS’ quarterly electronic magazine, designed to strengthen student welfare personnel’s knowledge and skills about the needs of refugee students.  Each edition focuses on a relevant theme. Read more…

Interface Column: Considerations of Difference

Interface Column has been published quarterly in the Journal of Psychotherapy in Australia since August 2004. The focus of the column is  to bring attention to issues that present themselves in the mental health/ counselling and psychotherapy field that require a sensitivity to ’difference’ as a central concern. Read more…

The Vietnamese Community in Sydney: A Resource Book (2008)

This resource was designed to provide essential background information on the Vietnamese community in Australia, especially in Sydney, which aims to assist field workers, Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese alike, in providing quality care to Vietnamese people.