Bilingual Afghan and Congolese community members are helping out at one of the Shepaprton COVID-19 testing sites. The Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District is working in conjunction with the Victorian Department of Health to provide the bilingual workers at the Graham St facility.
He said their main role was helping people from the Afghan and Congolese communities with paperwork that needed to be filled out, as well as doing some interpreting into English while they waited in line.
They were also able to tell people about the testing process, including the swabbing.
However, he said they did not interpret once people got to the medical side of the process.
Mr Hazelman said the workers’ role was one of support, and languages from those two countries had been identified by testing site staff at the site as ones they would like help with.
“If people from those communities find out there is someone there to talk with them and help them, they will go there,” Mr Hazelman said.
He said other bilingual workers who spoke different languages would be provided if the need arose in the future.
It is not the first time the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District has organised bilingual workers to help the community.
Workers of several different nationalities have been helping at Shepparton’s vaccination hub, assisting people through the process there as well, something Mr Hazelman said had been successful.
The Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District has also been busy getting information out to the wider multicultural community in Shepparton, especially in Arabic, about what people need to do in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak in Shepparton in particular.
They have been providing translated information in other languages about what isolation means and about Tier 1 and Tier 2 exposure sites and what people need to do if they or other household members have been to them.
They were also encouraging people to get tested and vaccinated.