In Victoria, 46% of our population is either born overseas or has at least one parent born overseas in more than 200 countries. Below is a list of the top 20 languages spoken in Victoria (from CENSUS 2016).
15. Khmer (Native to Cambodian)
16. Chaldean Neo-Aramaic (Native to: Iraq, Iran, Turkey) 17. Assyrian Neo-Aramaic (Native to Iraq, Syria, Iran) 18. Hungarian
19. Punjabi (Native to India, Pakistan)
20. Albanian (Albanian, Kosovo and the Republic
In the top 20 list, we have at least 5 new and emerging (NEC) languages, which are:
1. Khmer (Native to Cambodian)
2. Chaldean Neo-Aramaic (Native to: Iraq, Iran, and Turkey)
3. Assyrian Neo-Aramaic (Native to Iraq, Syria and Iran)
4. Punjabi (Native to India and Pakistan)
5. Albanian (Albania, Kosovo and the Republic of Macedonia but also in other areas of Southern Europe)
If you or someone you know speaks one of these languages or any language other than English, I’d be interested to hear your views on how is mental illness viewed in your community. How is portrayed in your ethnic media and publications? What happens in your country of origin and how does it differ from Australia in the way we respond to and treat mental health? What words do you use to describe mental health in your language? What supports exist (if any), in your community? What would be some of the common barriers that stop people from accessing support and services and how can we overcome them? Tell us your story. Share your experience. Will be good to see what common threads we all have but also what differences. I believe we can learn from each other collectively and individually as we move from multiculturalism to interculturalism where diverse communities work with each other to support one another. What has worked so far? What hasn’t? As we hold hands together, we all take the next step in this multicultural dance we are all part of in Australia.