Communicating with Refugees: What, When and How

About this event

You would think that the struggles faced by refugees are over once they arrive in Australia. The truth is that refugee resettlement is a complex issue and many people continue to encounter various challenges as they rebuild their lives, including housing, employment and accessing culturally safe services. Understanding the barriers that stand in the way of refugees is an essential step for service providers in paving the way for refugee well-being, participation and engagement.

As we explore the community-based approach that helps people of refugee background reach their true potential, our next online forum ‘Communicating with Refugees: What, When and How’ will focus on practical steps that organisations can take to reduce the structural and systemic barriers that exist in this space.

In this panel discussion, you will hear from communication and refugee experts exploring:

  • Best practice when communicating with people from a refugee background
  • The importance of NAATI-certified interpreters in all languages to support communication with refugees
  • The creative ways of engaging refugee communities through translated resources

Our Panellists

  • Sadia Ali

Sadia Ali is a Hazara woman and former refugee who has dedicated her life to the empowerment of local communities. A passionate community leader, she is the founder of United Culture Support Inc and Afghan Women’s Volleyball Team. Sadia is the winner of the 2019 Casey Volunteer of the Year award and a two times finalist of 7News Young Achievers Award (2019, 2020). Through various grass roots initiatives, Sadia is helping to create an inclusive environment where diverse communities can come together.

  • Jim Hlavac

Dr Jim Hlavac is a senior lecturer in Translation and Interpreting Studies in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics. He is a certified and practising professional interpreter and translator for Croatian, English and German. He has published widely in the field of Translation and Interpreting Studies and also in the related disciplines of multilingualism, contact linguistics, intercultural communication, pragmatics and language maintenance/shift.

  • Veronica Kurufher

Veronica Kurufher is a community development practitioner empowering marginalised and disadvantaged women from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds. Veronica has a social work background and focuses on women’s empowerment, community wellbeing and social justice. She has over 20 years’ experience working with communities, families and women’s groups in Papua New Guinea and Australia. Her lived experience has enabled Veronica to build relationship with stakeholders and form network with people of all works of life.

  • Marcus Mazzocchi

Marcus heads the Language Services Department at Polaron that includes a team of project managers, translators and interpreters in over 100 languages. He works in partnership with clients, culturally diverse communities and the language services industry to deliver high-quality multilingual projects that are culturally and linguistically appropriate. In his role, he helps government agencies and businesses to engage Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Communities with the aim of reducing language, literacy and social barriers through translated resources, community activities and research.


  • Eva Hussain

Eva is the founder of Polaron and plays an active role in the global development of the company. A former refugee, she began her career as an interpreter and translator in 1993. Today, she is a recognised leader in multicultural communication, winning the Victorian Multicultural Commission’s Refugee Award in 2021. Over the last four decades, Eva has made a tremendous voluntary contribution to the Polish and Jewish community in Australia and abroad. She has contributed to the language services sector by mentoring young interpreters and translators.


Wednesday 25th May 2022

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM AEST.



1:00 pm - 2:00 pm