Calvary Nazareth Embraces and Respects Multicultural Residents and Staff
9th August 2017
Calvary Nazareth Retirement Community in Belmont North is a multicultural aged care facility that recognises and embraces the different backgrounds and heritage of the staff, residents and their families.
Wednesday 9 August is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples which recognises the unique cultures of the 370 million Indigenous peoples across the world, living in 90 countries and speaking over 7000 different languages.
Calvary Nazareth Manager Julie Heaney said “We have many cultures here. We have staff from various nations, from India, to China, to the Philippines as well as Indigenous Australian staff members. We also have residents that are indigenous. Koko, one of our residents, is from the Cook Islands. Just by listening to Koko’s stories we can start to understand her interests. Koko used to do a lot of dancing and enjoys island food like Lu Pulu, a corn beef and coconut dish.”
Calvary Nazareth Care Service Employee Annette Muller is an Indigenous Australian and enjoys listening to other’s cultures and stories and sharing her own. A grandmother and great grandmother, Annette has been working at the high dementia aged care facility for over 5 years and is currently undertaking a leadership and management diploma to further her skills.
“Listening to our elders and their stories is an important part of making this facility a home. It’s about understanding their culture, where they have been and what they have done” said Annette.
“We endeavor to respect traditions and implement them where we can. The many stories we hear from the residents give us an idea of their personality and assist us in understanding their heritage and background”.
Annette emphasised “For some of our residents there may be cultural barriers including language. In the past we have had residents from places like Italy where staff have made visual cue cards. As a carer I listen to the residents and try to pick up on key phrases so I can better communicate with them. It’s a matter of making them feel comfortable and feel like they belong”.
Annette said “Aging should not be a barrier for anyone. Entering an aged care facility should provide the residents with a place to belong, respecting each other’s beliefs and who they are as a person”.
“I enjoy sharing my stories and listening to theirs. Calvary Nazareth has a great balance of integrated cultures but also recognises their differences to create a wonderful community” concluded Annette.