What About the “Other” 21%?

About this event

According to the ABS, nearly 30% of the Australian population was born overseas and 21% of us speak another language in addition to English at home. That’s over 5 million people! Whilst it’s true that we’ve become a lot more open when it comes to discussing mental health and seeking help, there is evidence that multicultural communities are missing out on vital support services due to inadequate provision of translation and interpreting services. Accurate, timely and targeted in-language information is known to be one of the key elements of effective communication but organisations can still find reaching diverse communities a challenge. Let’s explore why this is but most of all, what can be done about it RIGHT NOW.

The What About the “other” 21%? online forum aims to encourage an open discussion with an expert group of panellists and attendees from a range of organisations including mental health workers, community leaders, translators and interpreters, focusing on lived experiences and practical steps organisations can take to close the communication gap.

By attending and contributing, you will help us shine a light on strategies to improve mental health services for all Australians, including diverse communities, and inform how the language services industry can be better utilised to support this. Everybody has a voice at this forum and together we will explore how to be more inclusive and provide better communication to reach audiences that need our help the most.

Panellists include Niharika Hiremath from the National Mental Health Commission, Dr Judy Tang from Jurmaine Health and the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Yamiko Marama from Orygen, Sammy Huynh who is a School Counsellor and Mental Health Clinician, and Ingrid Ozols, a Life Experience Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Consultant.

Following this event, we will be publishing an impact report to be shared with Australian mental health organisations on how to better support multicultural communities, with findings based on the discussion and feedback from the online forum. The Impact Report from our previous forum on CALD Co-Design can be viewed here.

About our speakers

About our Guest Speakers

Niharika Hiremath

Niharika is a National Mental Health Advocate and Commissioner for the National Mental Health Commission.  She is passionate about working to understand and reduce stigma around mental health, especially in ethnically diverse communities. She has seen the impact that quality mental health support can have firsthand, and is committed to improving wellbeing outcomes for all Australians alike.

Dr Judy Tang

With more than a decade of career and academic expertise in Clinical Neuropsychology, Judy is Director and a Clinical Neuropsychologist with Jurmaine Health. She is also a current Board Director for the Victorian Pride Centre, and is one of Victoria’s 12 Multicultural Commissioners at the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC). She is also a member of a number of psychology associations and societies.

Yamiko Marama

Yamiko is an Occupational Therapist with ten years’ experience in mental health services. Her current role at Orygen focuses on supporting youth mental health services (and its workforce) to deliver evidence based, youth friendly, family inclusive and culturally responsive care. Part of this work included consultation with young people and sector leaders to develop freely available resources for the sector that promotes inclusive and responsive mental health care with multicultural young people and families.

Sammy Huynh

Sammy is a Social Worker, School Counsellor and Mental Health Clinician at headspace. With a strong interest in giving back to the community, Sammy has experience volunteering as a Youth Support Coordinator and co-designed the DJCS Youth Engagement Strategy. Additionally, utilising her own lived experiences of mental health difficulties and adversities, Sammy is a Youth Ambassador Speaker for ReachOut.

Ingrid Ozols

Ingrid Ozols AM is a Life Experience Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Consultant and the Director at Mental Health at Work. With over 20 years in the mental health and suicide prevention space, Ingrid uses her experiences to inform her work in advocacy, policy reform, research, and education and training of non-clinical and clinical workforces to bring about building capacity and capability change in knowledge and skills, attitudes and behaviours across workplaces and community. Ingrid works with many national and state mental health organisations and initiatives including Mental Health Victoria, Lifeline Australia, Suicide Prevention Australia, and many universities.

Moderator: Eva Hussain

Eva Hussain is the founder and director of Polaron. She is a recognised leader in the field of language translation, and regularly presents at conferences, universities and training institutions on the topics of language services and cultural awareness. Eva is also a NAATI-certified Polish translator and interpreter. Previously she worked in management and operations of a telecommunication provider, as well as administration of a local government’s aged care and disability department.


Wednesday 29th September 2021

2:30PM to 4:00PM AEST


2:30 to 2.40pm – Introduction

2:40 to 3.30pm – Panel discussion with guest speakers

3:30 to 3.45pm – Questions for panellists from attendees

3:45 to 4.00pm – Conclusion

Watch the forum recording here.


2:30 pm - 4:00 pm