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04 Apr 2018


Theatre: a new old way of talking about disability in CALD communities


Performers on stage in the Italian play “Io Mammeta e Tu: Me, Your Mother and You” from CALD communities
SSI’s FutureAbility project has been looking for innovative ways of engaging with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities, and providing information about disability, the NDIS and how to access services to improve the quality of life of the people with disability, their families and carers,” said Georgia Zogalis, project manager, FutureAbility program.

“To address this need, we commissioned a group of artists to write three theatre plays to talk about the specific cultural issues of disability in the Greek, Italian and Macedonian communities. Some of the themes include cultural issues prevalent in these communities for example, elderly parents/carers of adult children with disability that are likely to require information in their first language,” she said.

In November 2017, the Macedonian community attended eight performances of “My Sunshine” in Hurstville, Kogarah, Bankstown and Wollongong.

In March, the Italian play “Io Mammeta e Tu: Me, Your Mother and You” had eight performances at the Canada Bay Club and the Marconi Club in Bossley Park. Over 600 people attended the performances, with very positive reviews and feedback.

To finish this trilogy, April 13 will be the day of the premier of “Πινελιες Ζωης Brushstrokes of Life”. The Hellenic Art Theatre group will perform this Greek play in Marrickville, followed by another 11 performances between April and May. If you are interested in attending, please contact Hellenic Art Theatre.

All plays have been written in the original languages, covering very cultural-specific issues relevant to their communities, with subtitles in English.

The FutureAbility project has been using innovative methods to deliver the NDIS message and encourage the CALD communities’ access and participation in the NDIS.

Other unique activities by the FutureAbility project have included:

  • a comprehensive SBS radio campaign on the NDIS in 13 different languages
  • in-language NDIS information sessions for smaller and less supported language groups (Bengali, Burundi, Hindi, Farsi, Arabic, Kinyarwanda, Nepali, Somali)
  • eight regional round table discussions and
  • 20 workshops for NDIA, LAC and disability providers on Culturally Responsive Practice in a Disability Setting

Also, as part of this program, a state-wide conference DiverseAbility: NDIS Inclusion will be held on April 19 in Parramatta. To learn more about this conference, visit this website.

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