by Gizem Berberoglu & Dr. Archana P. Voola
The current Delta outbreak in NSW has had devastating consequences across different demographics but one segment of the population slipping through the cracks are young people from migrant backgrounds.
Recent research on youth and COVID19 impacts documents ‘labour market scarring’, wherein young people’s pandemic induced unemployment could be prolonged making it harder for them to re-enter the labour market. Young people, including those born overseas, are bearing the brunt of COVID restrictions, particularly in the hospitality and retail sectors.
In addition to the loss of jobs, lockdown restrictions and police presence, there is a vast amount of misinformation regarding vaccinations circulating in our youth communities. Direct engagement with youth, specifically in the South West Sydney region, highlighted the need for a platform where they could come to the table, register their concerns, get responses to their queries and be visible.
Another Step Forward in Community Collaboration
The Iraqi Australasian Medical Association (IAMA) and Arab Council Australia came forward with the support of Western Sydney MRC to organise a ‘Youth COVID-19 Vaccine Information Session’. The webinar was codesigned to answer migrant young peoples’ questions around COVID-19 directly from health professionals and community leaders.
The webinar was a fantastic opportunity for the youth to get accurate information from medical health professionals who work in the local areas such as Liverpool Hospital and bring young voices to the table through Q&A and narrative.
Our community Development Coordinator Nadia Bouchti has been working on building and nurturing these connections. Bringing together medical experts who are culturally competent and linguistically diverse is no small feat. Such collaborations are built on trust and deep community connections which the local organisations have nurtured over the years.