Good Practice Stories

Culturally inclusive care in Sydney’s West




SydWest Multicultural Community Services is a leading organisation in delivering culturally inclusive care.




We had a great chat with CEO Elfa Moraitakis.

Elfa Moraitakis has been with SydWest Multicultural Community Services for 13 years and has been in the CEO role for 6 years.



What motivates you to do this work?

Elfa: “It’s the impact we can bring to the community. It’s seeing people live a better life in Western Sydney. We’re also privileged to have the opportunity to become the voice of the people we serve and assist in advocating for them.

SydWest Multicultural Community Services is all about connecting cultures and building community. We believe we are a leading organisation for all cultures in Western Sydney, listening to the heartbeat of the community.”



How do you make sure your organisation is inclusive at the strategic and governance level?

Elfa: “We do have a quite a diverse board. It’s diverse in terms of background, skills and gender. We make sure we bring different expertise and skills to the board.”




Services for older people

SydWest Multicultural Community Services provides home care packages, the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), centre-based respite and facilitates 17 language-specific Social Support Groups.



Every Social Support Group has a different focus. Participants can determine what activity they wish to engage in depending on their needs and interests.

Elfa: “It’s really about listening to what seniors have to say and walk the talk and make sure it’s a person-specific experience they’re living.”

Staff speak about 30 languages. There are approximately 45 volunteers. At least half the volunteers are in aged care.






Partnering with communities

One of SydWest Multicultural Community Services key values is collaboration. They have partnered with numerous multicultural communities in Western Sydney to promote Stay Home, Stay COVID Safe and vaccination messaging.



What advice do you have for organisations embarking on their journey to become more culturally inclusive?

Elfa: “We need to start moving away from terms such as tolerance and more towards acceptance of everyone’s differences. We need to accept the fact that Australia was built on the contributions of migrants and multiculturalism is such a gift to have.

Individuals feel strongly about their heritage and identity. They bring knowledge and diverse points of view. This is what makes the world a better place.

A diverse organisation is simply a microcosm of what Australia is about.”



The importance of stories

Elfa: “I’m a big believer in storytelling. It’s important, especially when it comes to seniors. They have a lot to say and we, sometimes unintentionally, ignore the importance of their voices.

They have stories of identity, their journey and what it means to be an Australian from a different background. Allowing these stories to echo louder is our responsibility. I feel very passionate about it.”

Thank you Elfa for sharing your story.