Speak MY Language

Culturally and Linguistically Communities Take To The Radio Airways To Talk About Ageing Well In Australia

Speak My Language,’ is an exciting and innovative project that offers ethnic community radio broadcasters the chance to provide information, in their own language, about healthy ageing options.

‘Speak My Language’ will assist, culturally and linguistically, seniors and their families and friends to make empowered and informed decisions about their needs today, and for the future. By being a part of this Project, ethnic community broadcasters will have the opportunity to make a major difference to people’s lives as our migrant communities age and the Australian aged care system develops.

Culturally and linguistically diverse seniors, aged care experts, doctors and community leaders will take front stage, as they feature each week on air to talk about their own aged care experiences and journeys, with the hope of inspiring others to pick up the phone and seek help.

Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW, as the lead agency of this program, and the NEMBC, community media partner, invite you to join ‘Speak My Language’ as we broadcast live across Australia in over 25 languages from 80 ethnic radio broadcasters.

The ethnic community radio program will be supported by a carefully selected Bilingual Aged Care Facilitator who will help develop the radio program schedule, find guests and guide the ethnic broadcaster to deliver the on air Program. The Facilitator is there to work with the broadcaster and to assist and ensure the quality and success of the on air programs.

The successful radio programs will have the option to deliver a 6 – 14 weeks on air radio program about aged care to listeners. The exact model and number of weeks will be decided between the radio program and the Facilitator.

The live radio shows and podcasts will be delivered and recorded in diverse languages. Listeners will also have access to several technological based solutions such as an interactive website, webinars, in-language podcasts and bilingual resources which will help to assist seniors and their families and friends to make informed decisions about their requirements today, and for the future.

The longer term benefits for ethnic and multicultural community broadcasters is to build and strengthen networks with local aged care agencies and provide ongoing information to communities as they age and deal with a changing aged care environment.

Ms Terrie Leoleos, National Manager of the ‘Speak My Language’ Program is proud of the developments to date. “We are well on our way to developing a program that aims to harness the strength and scope of community radio to deliver much needed information to the broader CALD community about the Commonwealth’s aged care system. The simple in-language conversations both on-radio and through our newly developed Café Conversation Podcast, will assist CALD communities to better understand the recent aged care changes and make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing.”

Recent consultations with CALD seniors identified fourteen (14) priority aged care topics which have now been developed into interactive bilingual scripts in preparation for radio broadcasts. These topics include My Aged Care; Commonwealth Home Support Program; Packaged Care; Residential Care; Planning for the Future; Costs and Fees; and, early stages and advance stages of Dementia. The radio programs will also be discussing issues pertaining to elder abuse; senior’s rights and responsibilities; assessments; complaints mechanisms; and, allied health services. The radio content will explore wellness, restorative and reablement approaches to care and what it means to age well in Australia.

The ‘Speak My Language’ Program will launch its first series of on air radio programs in NSW, QLD and Victoria. Café Conversation Podcasts and radio conversations in English will be included in the first stage of the roll out. We encourage ethnic radio stations who might be interested in hosting the program on their radio to contact the National Manager at ECCNSW to find out how they too can be part of these exciting new national multicultural radio broadcasts.

This was an initiative of ECCNSW, the lead agent, and the NEMBC. The project is funded under the Commonwealth Government’s 2017- 2019 Dementia Aged Care Choices funding grant. It is auspiced by ECCNSW and its key partners, ECC Queensland (Diversicare), ECC Victoria, The Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) and the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council (NEMBC) will be implementing this program over 2 years.

Visit the official ‘Speak My Language’ website for more information at www.speakmylanguageradio.com and follow them on Facebook for updates at www.facebook.com/speakmylang.

Why This National Radio Program Is Different

There are a number of features which makes the ‘Speak My Language’ Program unique, including:

  • A national coordinated approach with consistent aged care information and messages;
  • CALD consumer stories and aged care expertise delivered entirely in-language live on radio;
  • Technological based solutions including online tools, podcasts, access to virtual Cafè conversations and an intranet for facilitators and radio hosts;
  • Short films detailing the 14 priority aged care topics which have been developed and used as learning guides;
  • Capacity building and partnerships between CALD ethnic radio and the aged care sector beyond the life of this program;
  • A robust national evaluation process- providing the Commonwealth with quantitative and qualitative data, feedback and future policy recommendations.

National Coordination

National coordination is essential for the success of the program. The project is overseen by a National Manager with media partners SBS and the NEMBC and delivered by three State Coordinators who are based at each of the Ethnic Communities’ Councils in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

Currently there are no other known national CALD marketing campaigns or communication strategies targeting CALD communities collectively through ethnic radio.

Bridging the gap between radio and aged care

To date various independent multicultural aged care services have coordinated their own in-house radio programs with a number of community radio stations. Although these were seen as valuable and demonstrated a positive impact for the listeners, a lack of a broader collective, national coordinated approach was evident, particularly one that could reach the more isolated CALD populations in regional or rural areas on a national scale.

The Long Term Benefits

The ‘Speak My Language’ Program aims to build robust and engaging relationships between the aged care sector, ethnic radio, allied health and everyday CALD consumers with the aim of developing long term collaborations beyond the life of the program. Ongoing aged care reforms and changes to the aged care system, has made these partnerships even more important today than ever before.

Continuing to seek and identify language specific aged care services and skilled bilingual aged care workers has and will become even more challenging as the reforms continue and the aged care workforce changes and evolves. Being able to forge partnerships which overcome these systemic sector challenges and trends is essential.