Information and connections with healthcare providers in a welcoming and accessible environment

For refugees and people who have newly arrived there are many reasons that access to healthcare services is vital. People who have fled war or conflict situations, for example, may not have had access to even the most basic health services while others may have chronic conditions that have not been addressed. This can be compounded by factors such as discomfort talking about health issues or a lack of information about available services.

Recognising these challenges, ARA identified an opportunity to reach out to communities in a new and innovative way. With the support of sponsorship from the City of Salisbury, Adelaide Primary Health Network (PHN), SA Health and the Office of Nick Champion MP, as well as 35 healthcare providers, the Health Expo was held in Salisbury in April 2019.

An estimated 400 people visited the expo where healthcare providers shared information about mental health, diabetes, reproductive health and dental health. Attendance statistics gathered on the day indicated that the majority of attendees had arrived in Australia within the last three years, demonstrating the value of the expo to people who have newly arrived.

Besides the obvious benefits to people who attended, feedback from healthcare providers noted the high value in this new opportunity to reach the community.

In October 2019, the Health Expo was named runner-up in the Adelaide PHN's award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Promotion and Early Intervention.