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Young adult refugee art exhibition wins Multicultural Health Communications award

The ‘Younger Stories’ Exhibition’ Refugee Art project at Coffs Harbour Health Campus has been honoured with the Judges’ Choice Award at the 2023 Multicultural Health Communications Awards.

The win recognises the project’s outstanding engagement with multilingual communities and enhancing access and equity in healthcare for people from refugee backgrounds. 

‘Younger Stories’ is a heartwarming exhibition of stories, poems, and artworks created by young adult refugees and is part of the  ‘Journey Stories’ project which shares the moving stories of how newly arrived communities came to call Coffs Harbour home. 

Coffs Harbour is home to 1600+ refugees, many with limited literacy and understanding of accessing health care. Through consultation with local community services and schools, engaging children was identified as essential to communicating with refugee families.  

Facilitated by artists Jay Black and social worker Jude Dardel, Multi-cultural elders led a community co-design approach collaborating with social workers, interpreters and three schools – Coffs Harbour Primary, Jetty and Orara High Schools to develop a trauma-informed arts program.  

In a series of workshops, refugee students collaborated to create multiple artworks and stories. Ten works are now on display in the new health service.  

‘Journey Stories’ and ‘Younger Stories’ are initiatives led by the Mid North Coast Local Health District and Health Infrastructure as part of the Arts in Health program, which aims to integrate art into NSW Health capital works to create engaging, culturally welcome public health spaces and enhance clinical health and wellbeing outcomes. 

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