Community Consultations and Links
Community consultations enable service providers to identify the aged care needs of the local community and facilitate community participation in service development.
Involving communities in the development of your services has many benefits. Consultations can contribute to policy development, service planning and staff recruitment, and may lead to a greater uptake of service utilisation.
Consultations can either take the form of group consultations or on-going appointments to organisational committees.
Group consultations enable service providers to hear a range of views and needs of a particular community. They are most beneficial when conducted regularly at relevant stages of service design and development.
The involvement of communities ensures the services you provide are relevant and appropriate to their needs. Group consultations also enable service providers to inform community members about available services.
One of the best ways to consult with communities is to invite local community representatives to sit on the Board of Management, planning committees and other organisational committees. This shows a real commitment to addressing issues of cultural diversity and facilitates ongoing community links and involvement in service design and delivery.
While community consultations are an effective way of identifying the needs of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, it is important for them to be conducted in an appropriate manner.
- Study the demographics of the local catchment area or targeted group.
- Establish contact with community organisations in your area.
- Consult community representatives regarding an appropriate time, venue and format, and the best way to promote the meeting.
- Hold consultations for different language groups.
- Ensure consultations are adequately resourced, with translated materials and interpreting services provided as required.
- Use professional interpreting and translating services.
- Ensure that staff hosting the consultation have been trained in cultural awareness, appropriate communication and the correct use of on-site interpreting services.
- Provide communities with feedback on the findings and outcomes achieved following the consultation.
- Recognise and value community participation - consider making a donation to the community in acknowledgment of their members' expertise and time.
In the case of appointing community representatives to on-going consulting roles:
- Liaise with the community to select the most appropriate representative.
- Ensure the representative has active links to the community.
- Understand the community representative cannot speak for the entire community, or other ethnic communities.
- Provide training for the representative on the aged care industry and your organisational processes.
- Ensure the language needs of the representative are identified and addressed.
- Ensure that staff have been trained in cultural awareness and appropriate communication.
The following multicultural directories contain contact details for ethnic community organisations, religious organisations, senior citizens' clubs and other useful community contacts throughout Australia.
If you cannot find what you are looking for in these directories, please contact the PICAC initiative in your area for more information.
- Multicultural Directory
Our Community Online
- Infoxchange Service Seeker
The Infoxchange Service Seeker allows you to search for organisations and services throughout Australia by language and area.
- Multicultural Information Directory
Northern Territory Government
- NSW Community Organisations
Community Relations Commission
- Cultural Resource Directory (2007)
- Queensland Multicultural Resource Directory
- Multicultural Aged Care Resource Directory South Australia (PDF 126kb)
Multicultural Aged Care South Australia
- Multicultural Commission Community Directory
Victorian Multicultural Commission
- South Eastern Region Multicultural Communities Directory 2010-2011
South Eastern Region Migrant Resource Centre
Use our National Resources Search for additional resources and links including resources developed under the Community Partners Program (CPP) and the Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) Initiative.