Population Health

Street Side Medics

In response to the rising rates of homelessness in Australia, we have commissioned Street Side Medics who operate from a mobile medical van in Alpha Park in Blacktown and Prince Alfred Square in Parramatta. Staffed by volunteer GPs, junior doctors and registered nurses, Street Side Medics provide free health care for people experiencing homelessness. All treatment is bulk-billed and available for people without a Medicare card. Their services include health examinations, diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions, establishing health care plans, immunisations, pathology services, nutritional advice, minor surgical procedures, and referrals to other providers.

Street Side Medics

Bilingual Hospital to Home

The Bilingual Hospital to Home program aims to strengthen care pathways for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) community members who are exiting the hospital system with mental health difficulties.

The team build connections between GPs, allied health providers, government agencies, health services and other community services to stop community members from falling through the gaps. They also offer social groups for people to rebuild social connections and their confidence.

A man holding a painting

I’ve got great support from One Door Mental Health, especially the Bilingual Hospital to Home program. This program engaged me with different activities which enabled me to build my confidence and realise that I have many strengths that I can use in my recovery journey.



We have been working with the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) for over a decade to provide culturally-appropriate support to community members with refugee backgrounds living in Western Sydney.

This year, we commissioned five STARTTS’ programs; Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Mental Health Literacy program, Psychosocial Support for Refugees who Identify as LGBTIQ+ program, South Sudanese and Hazara Youth Ambassador programs, African and Burmese Mental Health Awareness program, and Keeping in Contact program

93% Born outside Australia; 75% Speak a language
 other than English
Of STARTTS' clients:

Psychosocial Support for Refugees who Identify as LGBTIQ+

This project addressed the specific needs of LGBTIQ+ clients with refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds by providing casework and case management support for LGBTIQ+ refugees and building a peer-led community group to share stories, raise self-esteem and gain skills.

Psychosocial Support Brochure

The more the tears come out, the stronger I am. Sometimes I reflect on some of the negative things that I’ve experienced, but when I am with people who know what it is like to be me, then this brings the solidarity, and every single time, I say to myself, ‘Be strong’, and I say to the others, ‘Be strong’, and we make the strength together.

For me I have a sense of security and hope and every time I am here with the group, I see I am not the only one in the same situation - I have you all with me.

I can see a picture of a bridge – the bridge shows my journey to be safe – it is the bridge of belonging. On that side of the bridge are negative things, challenges, bad words, rejection, the justice is not there, but across the bridge here, finally there is love. We only feel safe when we are in community…When I heard people with lived experience similar to my story talking about their lives, that changed my whole life.

Some people have been rejected by family. We become our own family. We choose each other… We share our lives, our feelings. Love is what you need. We learn these skills from our community and from the strength of those who have suffered.

The unwavering support and acceptance I have found in this incredible peer support group has been nothing short of life-changing.

The warmth, love, and understanding I have encountered in this community have played an integral role in my journey towards happiness and self-acceptance.

South Sudanese Youth Ambassadors

The South Sudanese Youth Ambassador (SSYA) program has been running since 2017 and is designed to equip young South Sudanese participants with mental health literacy and leadership skills. The goal is to establish a pool of local peer support young leaders who can utilise self-help strategies, branch out into their communities, and build peer networks that help connect other refugees to mental health services.

South Sudanese Youth Ambassadors photo
SSYA participants

The SSYA Leadership Camp has been a turning point in his life, helping him connect with his cultural roots, find a sense of belonging, and become a leader in his community.

- SSYA Facilitator talking about one of the youth participants

Keeping in Contact

STARTTS' Keeping in Contact (KiC) program has been running for two years to help culturally and linguistically diverse seniors build a sense of belonging within their communities. Along with learning skills such as painting, crochet, singing, gardening and yoga, the groups also go on excursions together, attend health information sessions, and come together to celebrate birthdays and cultural events to share traditional food, music and stories from their childhoods.

A senior lady petting a horse
i.e. STARTTS KiC member on an excursion

“My mother has cancer and is in the hospital. She does not have many days left. This is her seventh day without eating, but she asked me to bring her artwork to display in the exhibition and to donate to the group. [Shows video] Look, she is not eating but she is still making the flower art that she learnt. See her smiling. This group has brought her so much happiness. It has kept her going. Last week she said that she wanted to come to the group one last time. Everyone came. They shared their condolences and prayers and thanked her for her friendship. This is what this group means to her. She went into hospital that night.” – daughter of KiC member

“We are safe meeting in this place; this country provides us with a lot of opportunities, a lot of things. Because of this group, we forget what we had in our country — the bombing, the shooting.” – KiC member

“I don't have any of my family here. So, these seniors, when I look at them, I see my mum and my dad in each and every one of them. I am the one who is grateful and get so much out of this.” – Subadra Velayudan, KiC Project Officer

“This group has brought us together when we were living alone. We do different activities but really it is about getting to meet each other. This group has made us come together, to talk about the good and the bad. We were alone before but we have a community now. We belong”. – KiC member

“This lady is disabled and before she could not walk but now she is coming to the group and facilitating, and she is getting back her strength. She is sharing her art with others and showing demonstrations to not just this Tamil community, but to the Bangladeshi group, the Afghanistan group, the Bosnian… many different cultures. It is giving her energy. – Subadra Velayudan, KiC Project Officer

“I was an artist back in Sri Lanka with many exhibitions. And now I get to share those skills with people again. People start doing art and they don't realise what it will do for them… They start the artwork and realise they are happy and proud of what they have achieved. My mind was very busy - a lot of sad things about bad things that happened in my country. When I started painting again, it calmed me… I tried to bring the colour back to my work and life.” – KiC member and facilitator

“People often write off Seniors thinking they have nothing left to contribute. But I look around at the art they have created, at the community they have created, and see that they have so much more to give. Their stories, their resilience. We still have a lot of ageist bullying. But this group gives them a network, people to share and talk with to feel supported.” - Subadra Velayudan, KiC Project Officer