ELDERS COMMUNITY LOUNGE
The ‘Elders Community Lounge’ is a dedicated culturally safe ‘drop in’ space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their families, at the IPC Health Wyndham Vale Campus.
The aim of the project is to support strong cultural community connection and the development of key partnerships between community and services providers, to better meet the needs of the community.
What are the benefits?
The Elders Community Lounge makes it easier for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their families to access health and social services and services that are culturally appropriate. It also helps Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their families to better connect with one another and with health professionals and allied health workers.
How does the Lounge makes IPC Health a more Health Literate Organisation?
Health Literate Organisations :
- are aware of and respect the needs and preferences of diverse cultural groups;
- work with communities to develop projects that respond to these needs appropriately;
- provide welcoming and supporting environments to diverse cultural groups;
- provide access to Aboriginal health workers
What steps were taken to develop this project?
IPC Health took the following steps to realise the Elders Community Lounge:
- Engaged Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people, particularly the Deadly Community Kitchen at Iramoo; and partnered with them to understand their health needs and how they may be addressed.
- Elders Community Lounge was Co-designed with the Deadly Community Kitchen and other stakeholders; and funded in partnership with the Department of Human and Health Services (DHHS) through the Koolin Balit Local Initiative Fund and the Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV).
- IPC’s Aboriginal outreach worker, Care coordinator and Aboriginal access worker were relocated to work from the Lounge.
- After the launch of the Lounge, we held Meet and Greet lunches between health service providers and Community.
- Provided a suite of health education workshops for Community with pathways for direct service referrals.
- Celebrated cultural events (e.g. NAIDOC and Reconciliation) and invite IPC Health services providers to these events to strengthen their Cultural competencies and build rapport with Community.
The Elders Community Lounge is an ongoing program and space, that continues to be guided by Community needs.
 Trezona, Dodson & Osborne, 2017, Organisational Health Literacy Responsiveness (Org-HLR) Self Assessment Tool and User Guide, Deakin University.