cultural diversity week event creates space for health conversations with public housing residents

Posted on 24th March 2022

cohealth came together with the Flemington high-rise community to celebrate Cultural Diversity Week, using the event to strengthen relationships with public housing residents and initiate health conversations in a fun and non-threatening environment. 

The community fun day held on the estate on Thursday 24 March was attended by several hundred residents who enjoyed the free sausage sizzle, face painting, balloon twisting and ice cream truck.  

cohealth’s HRAR (High Risk Accommodation Response) team including more than 10 Health Concierges, mingled with residents and handed out health information about COVID and vaccinations. 

Rapid Antigen Tests and masks were also available for attendees to take home. 

Flemington public health resident and cohealth Health Concierge, Hiba Shanino, who is originally from Eritrea, said that Cultural Diversity Week was special for the Flemington high-rise community. 

“We are so proud of our cultural diversity here at the Flemington high-rise. Cultural Diversity Week is an opportunity to think, talk about and recognise how our differences and similarities make our community strong,” said Hiba. 

“It was also a great environment to talk to other residents about their ongoing concerns and questions in relation to COVID and vaccination. Every conversation counts,” she said. 

cohealth community nurse, Shola Adedoyin, said, “I had the chance to talk to dozens of residents about health issues, not only related to COVID, but also things like asthma management, childhood immunization and diabetes.” 


“Having the space and time for these opportunistic conversations is so important. With language and cultural barriers, and a general distrust of authorities, this community can be reluctant to engage with external health and social services.  

“By embedding ourselves onsite we’re able to make a real difference to people’s health and wellbeing,” said Shola. 

Thanks to co-organisers, Moonee Valley Council, the local library, leisure centre and Flemington-Kensington Community Legal Centre were also part of the celebrations. 

Also popular at the event was The Venny, which offered play-based therapeutic learning activities for kids, and Paving the Way Forward, an organisation which has been working with residents, community groups, local government and service providers in the Flemington and North Melbourne public housing communities to help solve local issues and build on local strengths.  

cohealth asked attendees at the Flemington high-rise Harmony Week event what they thought about the day, and here’s what they said about… 

About the face painting:

“I’m getting Spider-Man”

“I love it”

“My children loved the face painting”

About the Boon (traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony):

“The boon area is so colourful”

“I love how the boon brings everyone together”

About the ice cream truck hired by cohealth:

“This ice cream is delicious”

“The line was long, but so worth the wait”

In general

“Wow amazing turn out”

“We haven’t had something that brings the community together in a very long time”

“We want more events like this one”

“We would like cohealth to run things for mother’s”  

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