A new national bilingual radio project aiming to help the diverse communities of Australia understand the aged care sector and issues surrounding ageing and geriatric health has been laucnhed in Canberra by Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt.

Coordinated by the Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW Inc, the Speak My Language project is expected to reach more than 50,000 seniors each week covering more than 25 language groups, including Greek.

“We owe our older Australians an inclusive aged care system, one that embraces diversity,” Minister Wyatt said, discussing the difficulties Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Australians have in navigating the system.

“What they’re looking for is reassurance, understanding and support to ensure their quality of life.”

The program will be funded by a $1 million grant and engage 160 bilingual aged care facilitators across Australia, not least among them Fronditha Care.

Fronditha will facilitate the Greek language program, which will act as a forum for Greek speaking aged care stakeholders to raise awareness on sector issues and give a platform to Greek Australians to speak about their experiences with aged care.

The café conversation podcasts of the project will aim to encourage Greek speakers to share their stories and discuss what is working and what isn’t in aged care services for CALD communities.

It will inform people about their rights and the procedures they must follow to qualify for commonwealth supported packages, but also encourage frank conversations on issues like elder abuse, dementia, and ageing with an improved quality of life.

Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM MP (C), Speak My Language Program Manager Terrie Leoleos (R) and Fronditha Care’s Community and Media Affairs Officer Odysseas Kripotos.

Fronditha Care’s Community and Media Affairs Officer Odysseas Kripotos says the program will be a way to tackle some uncomfortable topics.

“Greek Australians struggle with the idea of putting a loved one in a nursing home or asking for help in caring for them,” he said.

“It’s hard for people to admit they need help, and this program will try and remove the stigmas associated with aged care and open a more positive dialogue.”

The Greek language project is currently being developed and is calling for interested participants to contribute to the discussion, particularly those who are in care or receive services, those who have a loved one in care, those who have experienced dementia or had a loved one suffer with the disease.

To participate, please email the facilitator Odysseas.Kripotos@fronditha.org
For more information on the project visit speakmylanguageradio.com/