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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 01 September 2018
NEWS 8 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 1 SEPTEMBER 2018 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Bilingual radio program to simplify aged care for the community Fronditha Care is in charge of the Greek language program and is calling for contributions and input to the discussion A new national bilingual radio project aiming to help the diverse communities of Australia understand the aged care sector and issues surrounding ageing and geriatric health, was launched last week in Canberra, by by Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt. Coordinated by the Ethnic Communities' Council of NSW Inc, the Speak My Language project is expected to reach more than 50,000 seniors each week covering more than 25 language groups, including Greek. "We owe our older Australians an inclusive aged care system, one that embraces diversity," Minister Wyatt said, discussing the difficulties CALD Australians have in navigating the system. "What they're looking for is reassurance, understanding and support to ensure their quality of life." The program will be funded by a $1 million grant and engage 160 bilingual aged care facilitators across Australia, not least among them Fronditha Care, which will Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt at the launch of the Speak My Language Program facilitate the Greek language program, which will act as a forum for Greek speaking aged care stakeholders to raise awareness on sector issues and give a platform to Greek Australians to speak about their experiences with aged care. The café conversation podcasts of the project will aim to encourage Greek speak- ers to share their stories and discuss what is working and what isn't in aged care services for CALD communities. It will inform people about their rights and procedures they must follow to qualify for commonwealth supported packages, but also encourage frank conversations on issues like elder abuse, dementia, and age- ing with an improved quality of life. Fronditha Care's Community and Media Affairs Officer Odysseas Kripotos says the program will be a way to tackle some uncomfortable topics. "Greek Australians struggle with the idea of putting a loved one in a nursing home or asking for help in caring Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, MP (centre), Speak My Language Program Manager, Terrie Leoleos (right) and Fronditha Care’s Community and Media Affairs Officer, Odysseas Kripotos. for them," he said. "It's hard for people to admit they need help, and this program will try and remove the stigmas associated with aged care and open a more positive dialogue." The Greek language project is currently being developed and is calling for interested participants to contribute to the discussion, particularly those who are in care or receive services, those who have a loved one in care, those who have experienced dementia or had a loved one suffer with the disease. To participate, please email the facilitator Odysseas.Kripotos@fronditha.org For more information on the project visit https://www. speakmylanguageradio.com/ PRONIA holds seminar on mediation during family conflict Community education officer Antonios Maglis outlines how grandparents, parents - and above all children - can benefit from mediation services ZOE THOMAIDOU Recognising the challenges presented to families experiencing separation or divorce, which in turn affect children, PRONIA is holding an information session on the ways grandparents and parents can receive support during those times of hardship through mediation services. The seminar, organised in collaboration with Chadstone and Moorabbin Mediation Centres, aims to educate community members on mediation as an option available to resolve complex issues arising during family separation, such as parenting arrangements or communication of grandparents with their grandchildren, and refer them to various services according to their needs. While mediation is used in a range of conflict resolution contexts, PRONIA's community education officer Antonios Maglis explains why the service has been a game changer when it comes to family disputes. "The underlying philosophy is serving the child's best interests," he says. "Adjustments mediation centres started 10 years ago, around the same time the above mentioned legislative change took place, in response to increasing calls for assistance from grandparents caught up in the middle of a family divorce or separation which affected relationships with their grandchildren. This, in turn, prompted PRONIA to set up a family support program focusing on the issue, that has been running since then. The upcoming seminar on mediation will be conducted by professional educators trained in the area of family relationships within a safe, confidential and respectful environment. made to family law in 2007 recognised for the first time the rights of children to continue accessing meaningful relationships, regardless of what happens to their parents' relationships." Essentially this means that not only parents, but grandparents as well can seek assistance through mediation services. "Say, for example, the grand- parents have had their relationship with their grandchild interrupted, after their son separated from the child's mother on bad terms. They can access a mediation centre to state their problem." The other party of the conflict is then invited by the mediator, who aims for a solution that will allow for the child to continue formerly established relationships with their loved ones, provided there are no issues regarding the child's health and safety. If someone appears unwilling to negotiate, the person who accessed mediation can obtain a certificate from the mediator to take the matter to court. It is then up to the court to make a decision, which cannot be challenged by any party. "This is why it is in the best interest of both parties to get involved in the mediation process once it has been initiated", Mr. Maglis explains. "The aim of the seminar is to inform community members about the option of mediation, as many are not aware it exists and that they don't necessarily have to resort to lawyers and spend thousands of dollars in litigation." PRONIA's collaboration with Presentations will be in English, but a Greek interpreter will be provided at the event. There will also be time allowed for a Q&A session. The seminar, open to both parents and grandparents, will be held at Clayton Community Centre, 9-15 Cooke Street, Clayton on Wednesday 12 September 10.30am-12pm. RVSP is essential. For bookings call PRONIA on 9388 9998.
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