July 13, 2022

TALS team wins Excellence in Organisational Leadership Award

On 3 June this year, the Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing hosted the Cultural Diversity in Ageing Excellence Awards 2021.

The Excellence Awards recognise and showcase initiatives that promote excellence in the provision of culturally inclusive aged care services across Australia.

The award finalists for the Excellence in Organisational Leadership category were Northern Health, Bolton Clarke, and the Australian Multicultural Community Services.

We are pleased to announce that the winner for this category was Northern Health, for its in-house Transcultural & Language Services (TALS) Department.

Here is what they said about our winning TALS team:

“In response to the rapid growth in population and cultural diversity in its catchment, in 2007, Northern Health restructured its Transcultural & Language Services Department to standardise services across all its hospitals, and better address demand for interpreters. Since then, Northern Health grew its in-house staff from four interpreters covering four languages, to almost 50 covering 17 languages. Additionally, at the same time, demand for interpreters grew from just over 15,000 requests per annum, to almost 80,000 in 2021. Today, an interpreter is booked for 20 per cent of all appointments in over 100 languages.

As well as shifting from outsourcing demand to external agencies, to covering requests in-house to guarantee greater access to interpreters, Northern Health added new portfolios to its language services: translation of medical material, transcultural training for all staff, and education opportunities. Northern Health also developed and implemented successive Cultural Responsiveness Plans, and ensured all research projects included patients with limited English proficiency, so that the research produced reflected the catchment in which it operates. These strategies resulted in better patient care, and improved health outcomes for CALD Australians, including halving the gap in length of stay in hospital between patients who require an interpreter and those who don’t.”

The award was received by Yue Hu, Director TALS, who gave a beautiful speech.

“I was excited to see language service being valued in caring for older culturally and linguistically diverse Australians. It is all about respect and dignity when we listen to what older people have to say and make decisions about their own care. Interpreting services provide a voice for everyone to do so, regardless of what language they speak,” she said.

Congratulations to TALS for the outstanding work put in to receive this honour and recognition!