Greetings from Shannon and Agnieszka! This past week, Agnieszka and I have travelled many roads between Adelaide and Whyalla visiting aged care facilities with the mobile library, running the palliative care training with PEPA, meeting with Teresa Nowak from SAMEAC, and bringing resources out into rural South Australia. It has been a lovely trip where I have also had the chance to share some of the things that I love about Australian culture with Agnieszka. We have caught up with old friends, and made some new ones along the way.
On the way to Whyalla we had the chance to meet with Darren from Barunga Village in Port Broughton, and it was lovely to visit with him again. We met for the first time, Julie and Dianne from Helping Hand Lealholme, Port Pirie, and Rob, Gail, Di and Sam from Whyalla Aged Care. The mobile library visits that we have had so far on this trip have been fantastic and it is gratifying to see so many aged care staff doing such a great job to help support their older CALD persons in their facilities. In fact Rob, from Copperhouse Court in Whyalla, has challenged me to find a Tunisian-English resource for his resident, and I can only hope that the MAC Library is up to the challenge!
Agnieszka, along with Janine Brett (the SA PEPA Project Officer), presented the MAC Palliative Care training to a diverse group of 22 people. It was great to see the attendees engaged and participating in the activities, sharing their experiences and stories and lapping up the library resources. This workshop was the latest in an ongoing series of collaborations between MAC and PEPA, and it is wonderful to work so closely with PEPA and Janine. There are more workshops planned, so watch this space to find out when one will be happening in your area! Or contact MAC to arrange your own workshop!
On Wednesday we met with Teresa Nowak, Convener of the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission in Whyalla and regional member of MWLG of SA, and her group of 30 CALD women, where we presented an information session about MAC and CALD aged and community care. One of our staple activities called The Grandmother Chronicles was received with much acclaim. Teresa’s group was a wonderfully chatty group who were happy to share their experiences. One lady told her story of how each member of her family was born in a different country despite being born in the same town, because the borders of the countries kept shifting. Another woman told of being accused of deceiving the Australian Government because her Polish passport listed her country of birth in Polish and the Polish word (Niemcy) is different from the word Germany. She also went on to tell the story of how a staff member of a hospital came to her and spoke in German, because they assumed that because she was born in Germany, that she was German and not Polish.
Today we are heading home to Adelaide and are happy to be seeing our families again soon. And hopefully we will see some more unusual sights on the way home like we did on the way.