Redefining the Mainstream: Local Government, Inclusive Communities

The Second National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism, Immigration and Human Rights


Irene Verins
Senior Project Officer, VicHealth Promotion Foundation, Victoria

The Journey from Margin to Mainstream: The Potential of Mental Health Promotion Strategies to Integrate People who are Newly Arrived into Australian Communities

Most new arrivals ultimately settle very successfully in Australia and make a positive contribution to Australian cultural social and economic life. Research and practice experience suggest that support offered at an early stage of the refugee settlement process offers individual resilience against the development of mental health problems. This paper will describe the mental health promotion framework and strategies of particular projects which are currently being trialed by communities (urban and rural) across Victoria. These strategies are part of VicHealth's Mental Health Promotion Plan 1999-2002. This paper will explore project characteristics and conditions required to enhance the social connectedness of newly arrived communities to the Australian mainstream.

Irene Verins is Senior Project Officer at VicHealth Promotion Foundation with a major focus on the implementation of VicHealth's Mental Health Promotion Plan 1999-2002. Prior to this Irene has worked extensively with culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Drug and Alcohol Education, Local Government, Education sectors and Community development.

Presentation Type
30 min. Paper

Equipment Requirements:


Deakin Woolstores Campus, Geelong Waterfront
30 November - 1 December 2001