Saturday 24th September 2016, Eastwood Park
If you take a stroll down the main streets of Eastwood, you won’t have to look far to appreciate the suburb’s rich cultural diversity. As one of the most multicultural suburbs in Sydney, Korean and Chinese cultures and festivals are featured in the community. In 2014, the Korean Day Festival was introduced to celebrate Korean culture and people, as well as the wider cultural diversity of Eastwood. Held in September, it recognises the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.
This year at the annual Korean Day Festival, Hepatitis B Free together with Korean Australian Medical Society (KAMS), Korean Nurses Association of Australia (KNAA) and the Korean Health Committee came together to provide education and free hepatitis B testing to the community. A hub of food and cultural activities, the event was attended by over 1000 people including families, youth and seniors. The stall ran from 10am to 5pm in Eastwood Park.
Volunteers from Hepatitis B Free provided free point of care testing for hepatitis B using a simple finger prick test. Those being tested can come back for their results in about 20 minutes. The testing was well received, with plenty of interest from the community. Another important purpose of the stall was providing a forum to open up a conversation about hepatitis B, as talking about this very under-recognised disease is the first step to providing education to the public. Bilingual volunteers (particularly Korean) were highly valued for their skills!
On top of this, educational materials were distributed to people who visited the stall. This included 250 show bags created by Hepatitis NSW, and other novelty merchandise and educational resources in Korean.
Korean journalists also interviewed Dr Alice Lee and Mina Kim on the day.
Following the success of the day, we look forward to engaging in future testing and education events with local cultural communities.
Photos: Mina Kim, Hepatitis NSW
Post by Carrie Lee