How a multicultural team strengthens aged care  

Posted 16th June 2023

Diwali at is a special time at St Vincent's Care with India being our second biggest employee country

 

When you're caring for the elderly, you need a strong mix of culture.  Not just because of how multicultural our resident communities can be, but because of the richness of cultural experience, love, and respect for the elderly all play an important part in the delivery of care.

 

Increased creativity and innovation 

When people from diverse cultural backgrounds work together, they bring different perspectives, experiences, and ideas to the table. This can lead to more creative and innovative solutions to problems. 



Improved communication & collaboration

Multicultural workplaces encourage people to learn from one another and understand different ways of communicating. This can lead to better collaboration and teamwork. 


Increased understanding and tolerance 

Working with people from different cultural backgrounds can help build empathy and understanding for people with different beliefs, values, and perspectives. 


Access to a wider talent pool 

Employing people from different backgrounds can help to attract a wider range of talent, which can improve the quality of our workforce 


Better care for our residents 

Our residents also come from a range of cultural backgrounds, and having a multicultural workforce can help us better understand and serve their needs.


We asked several employees what makes their culture special to them and what parts of it they bring to their work with SVC every day.



Name:


Abhini Thakur 


Facility and Role:

Head Office, Consumer Research and Insights Specialist (QLD) 


Where are you from?

India 


What languages do you speak?

Hindi, Punjabi, English 


What is an element of your culture you bring to your work with SVC?

My culture taught me to value human relationships, compassion and serving humanity in every way possible. I carry this with me everywhere, feeling that the work I am doing is going make difference in someone’s life and making someone’s last inning of life easier, makes me proud and satisfied at the same time. 


What aspects do you love most about your culture? 

Celebration of life, the spirituality and the Indian spirit of “keep going” even in the face of adversities. 


What is one thing you can share about culture that most people wouldn't know? 

Not a lot of people are aware about Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine system). It works on the principle of ‘prevention is better than cure’.  


The definition of health, from an Ayurvedic perspective, is defined as a gracious, tranquil, content, joyous, bright. As well as clear state of the body, senses, mind, and spirit, including the balanced state of one’s natural constitution, all bodily tissues, the digestive capacities, and waste excretion. In Ayurveda, only herbs and naturally derived ingredients are used as medicine. 

It is as good as Yoga! Please read about it. 



Name: 

Gordana (Dana) Apostoloska 


Facility and Role: 

St Vincent's Care BronteLifestyle Coordinator (NSW)  


Where are you from?

Born in Serbia (Belgrade) but raised in Macedonia (Ohrid) by Macedonian parents. 


What languages do you speak?

Macedonian, Serbian and English 


What is an element of your culture you bring to your work with SVC?

Respect about my culture, values, beliefs, customs, language and traditions. 

Our culture measures our quality of life, our vitality and health of our society. Throughout my culture we develop a sense of belonging, personal and cognitive growth and ability to empathize and relate to each other.  


What aspects do you love most about your culture?

It begins with values, respect, harmony and environment. Language, Culture, food and celebrating significant events. 


What is one thing you can share about culture that most people wouldn't know?

National dresses (costumes). Especially traditional bride costumes which unfortunately are slipping away. 




Name: 

Josette de Souza 


Facility and Role: 

St Vincent's Care Eltham, Pastoral Care Associate


Where are you from?

Goa, India 


What languages do you speak?

English, Konkani (the mother tongue of Goa), basic Hindi (as it's the national language of India). 


What is an element of your culture you bring to your work with SVC?

Goans are known to be warm, friendly and will go out of their way to help whenever they can. I'd like to believe that these are the qualities that I bring to work each day that I come to work. I love our residents at Eltham and they know that if they have a need, and it is within my capacity, I will always help them.  


What aspects do you love most about your culture? 

I love the Goan community spirit in the neighbourhood and the close ties that people have with each other. Catholics and Hindus live side-by-side with each other in Goa - in communal harmony. Trays of sweets and snacks are exchanged between people of different religions, on days of their respective festive occasions.  For example, Hindu friends and neighbours will visit the Catholic families to wish them well for Christmas or Easter. And the Catholics will visit their Hindu neighbours and friends on the occasion of Diwali, Holi etc. Everyone helps each other in the neighbourhood, and no one is made to feel isolated or alone (though with life getting busier and busier, this could well be changing now).  


What is one thing you can share about culture that most people wouldn't know?

People are very hospitable in Goa. I grew up in a Goa, where one could not go to someone's house without partaking of a meal, or at least a cup of tea with 'Marie' biscuits. I remember, many years ago, visiting a really poor, struggling family, and because they had nothing to offer at the time, they brought out a bowl of sugar and a glass of water. That's how kind and giving they were - a teaspoon of sugar to sweeten the mouth, if nothing else! 

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