My Health My Voice May 2024

Issue 42 | May 2024

Listening to our community to improve access to primary care

In April 2024, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) held a 2-day workshop, attended by 23 community members from a range of cultural backgrounds to help address the question: “How can we make it easier for people from multicultural Melbourne to get primary health care?”

The result was 18 recommendations, which were grouped in 3 goals:

  • Help multicultural communities better understand primary care services.
  • Make it easier to navigate and access primary health care by removing barriers.
  • Improve cultural sensitivity in primary care to better serve multicultural groups.

NWMPHN is now applying for funding based on these goals. If successful, the funding will be used to design programs and engage services to bring these ideas to life.

Thank you to the community panel members, our partners and all those who took part in this collaborative process.

To find out what was involved, watch this video.

Community update

Free suicide prevention training sessions

LivingWorks Australia will be hosting suicide alertness workshops throughout May and June 2024.

These workshops, funded by NWMPHN, help people to be more alert to someone who may be thinking of suicide, and to better connect them with the right help. They directly support multicultural communities in our region.

To view the calendar of events and to register, see our website.

Online wellbeing program for carers

Carers Victoria, supported by NWMPHN, runs a regular 4 week program designed to improve carer wellbeing and connection.

Called Carer Wellbeing and Connection, the program was designed by carers and includes a series of online group sessions that run for 90 minutes. The sessions are led by an experienced mental health professional and group numbers are kept small to maintain a safe and supportive environment.

The program has been running for many years and has been thoroughly tested. The University of Melbourne evaluated it throughout 2020–23 and found that it reduced participants’ mental distress.

To find out more and to register for upcoming sessions, visit Carers Victoria’s website. 

Dementia resources for people living with dementia, and their carers

Finding out that you, or a family member, may have dementia can be overwhelming

Primary health networks in Victorian and Tasmania have combined forces to produce an easy-to-read information sheet to help you find the services and supports you may need now, and in the future.

It also includes information about key organisations, including Dementia Australia, Carer Gateway, My Aged Care, and the NDIS.

The free sheet is available in English, Italian, Greek, Vietnamese and Simplified Chinese.

You can find it here.

The information sheets complement another resource – the Dementia Directory, which contains extensive listings and contacts for location-specific social

You can find the Dementia Directory here.

Flood recovery program supports refugee and migrant women in Melbourne’s west

With support from NWMPHN, GenWest has developed a series of online videos featuring community voices discussing mental health and wellbeing, and how to get help.

Called Our Community, Our Voice, the program directly supports refugee and migrant women and their families affected by the 2022 floods in Maribyrnong.

It does this by getting people in the community together, letting them share their stories, and helping them find services.

To watch the series or to get involved, check out their website.


This recipe has been provided by Sarah Plummer, Digital Health Project Officer at NWMPHN.


  • 1 large butternut pumpkin (about 1 kg), peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (90 g) tahini
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 500 g cooked chickpeas (about 2 cans), drained
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped – or any other herbs you like
  • sea salt and black pepper


Candied pumpkin seeds

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg white, beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • pinch of coarse sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Toss the pumpkin and onion with the olive oil, cinnamon and ginger, and season with salt and black pepper. Spread on a baking tray and roast for 25 minutes, or until golden. The red onion may cook faster than the pumpkin, so you may need to remove it before the pumpkin is cooked.
  2. To make the candied pumpkin seeds, mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Spread the mixture in a single layer on a tray lined with baking paper. Bake until the pumpkin seeds are golden and slightly puffed (this will take about 10-12 minutes). Remove from the oven and season with more salt. Stir gently, leaving some clumps. Let it cool completely and store in an airtight jar.
  3. Whisk the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and a good pinch of salt. Slowly add 80mL (⅓ cup) of water until you have a smooth, creamy sauce.
  4. Combine the pumpkin with the chickpeas and parsley and toss gently. Transfer to a serving plate and scatter over the candied pumpkin seeds. To serve, spoon over the tahini sauce.