July 30, 2020
少數民族不能被忽視 社長 周偉文
Brett Sutton認為少數族裔社區，對新冠病毒訊息大多未如主流社會大眾瞭解。有學者指出，少數族裔社群極少從主流英語媒體獲取生活資訊，他們往往從社交通訊、非英語社區區媒體及社區組織中，得到各種生活資訊。為此，Brett Sutton呼籲政府要正視這情況，加強向多元文化社區溝育及傳遞相關訊息。
Don’t overlook ethnic minority
Many suburbs in NW and SE Melbourne record covid-19 outbreaks recently and Victorian Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton pointed out that these are multicultural suburbs populated by ethnic minorities. People are questioning about the causes of outbreaks there and who should take responsibility.
Brett Sutton remarked that ethnic minority communities are not that well informed of the pandemic as compared tothe mainstream society. Some academics believe due to language issue residents from these areas largely rely on their own social media or community network in obtaining information about the pandemic. Brett therefore urged the government to care more about the educaion and information feed in multicultural communities.
Back in March we have proposed to AlanTudge, Acting Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs that we need to establish an Covid-19 information center for ethnic minority communities for them to receive regular update on the pandemic including the publication of Chinese bulletins. Their response however was there already existed online information translated into different languages. In May they came back again saying the idea was good thus they had already done it through SBS broadcast.
I reckoned the important link is not about the translation but how effective the information is to be disseminated to the CALD communities. How would ethnic minorities know that pandemic information in their own languages exist? How many would know where and how to find the information they need in their own language from the English government website? It is the government’s responsibility to make sure they actively reach out to these communities. The government once has put up Chinese captioned version of Youtube information videos, but at the end of a month only handful hits were recorded. Without proper promotion and channel the production is futile. I then recap the idea in mid-May to the Department of Home Affairs but the official reply came back in June was nothing would be changed.
Obviously comments from Professor Brett Sutton and those academics pointed to the deficiency of the government in adequately educating and informing the ethnic communities in flighting the pandemic. Today Primier Andrew said people who did not strictly follow health guidelines were inconsiderate to others and had underestimated the risk of the virus. Apart from these irresponsible group, the government measuring up well too. I think Alan Tudge should send his apology to those ethnic minority communities affected and the federal government should act promptly to prevent further threat and risk to the health and safety of ethnic minorities.