The Community Ambassadors Project was an outcome from the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Gambling Action Plan 2015, launched by PEACE Multicultural Service in collaboration with the Office for Problem Gambling in May of last year. The action plan highlighted the enormous need to address stigma associated with gambling problems and seeking help within Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities.
Gambling as a recreational activity, with increased accessibility, is enjoyed by many people. However, gambling can create negative social and economic impacts and stigma for some people, as well as their family members, friends, workplaces and communities.
Twenty-eight Community Ambassadors were recruited from Indian, Pakistani, Nepalese, Bhutanese, Filipino, Afghan, Iranian, Italian, Greek, Kurdish, Burmese, Cambodian and African communities within South Australia to undergo four days training to learn about gambling harm, how to spread awareness in their community, and how to act as a bridge between community and service providers. The Community Ambassadors assisted in the creation of a gambling help website, You Are Not Alone, which provides culturally appropriate resources, information and links to services for CALD individuals and their families to tackle gambling problems and their effects.
You Are Not Alone was chosen as the name for the website by clients and affected community members to reflect their positive experiences of seeking help from PEACE Multicultural Services.
PEACE Community Ambassador, Deepak said, “CALD individuals and their families should never feel that they are alone because they are not. There are many confidential services that are available to all communities to help no matter how big or small the problem is.”
The PEACE Community Ambassadors graduation ceremony and the launch of the You Are Not Alone website was held on the 25th of October at the Cyprian Community Centre, Welland. The Hon. Zoe Bettison, MP, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Department of Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) and the Hon. Steve Georganas MP, Member for Hindmarsh attended the event. Together, they officially launched the website, and the Hon. Zoe Bettison presented the Ambassadors with their Certificates of Achievement.
A video addressing the issue of stigma associated with seeking help for gambling problems was screened as a part of the launch. PEACE Community ambassadors contributed greatly towards the production of the video in which they delivered messages about gambling in their native languages.
Going forward, the Community Ambassadors will continue to work closely with PEACE Multicultural Services and their respective communities to ensure that help is spoken about and appropriate information and services are provided.
For more information about gambling help support available for all South Australians, please visit www.problemgambing.sa.gov.au or call the Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858.
To visit the new website, go to youarenotalone.org.au