Monday 17th April 2017, 4-8 pm
Assyrian Church of the East, Edensor Park
This was my first time volunteering with Hepatitis B Free.
We arrived at the “Rejoice Easter Festival” held by the Holy Apostolic Assyrian Church of the East, Edensor Park. As we discovered, this is a huge community event held every year. The park was filled with carnival rides for the young (and less young!) including zorbing and sideshow alley rides.
The Assyrian community is one of the largest ethnic groups in Sydney with around 30,000 people living in Fairfield and surrounding suburbs such as Bossley Park and Horsley Park. I was told that many Assyrians immigrated to Australia in the 1980s and 1990s from Iraq, Iran, Syria Lebanon and Turkey.
As well as the entertainment at the fair, information about various health services and about hepatitis B testing was included in the program. We had a designated tent from which we offered testing to a range of visitors across many ages including mums and dads, grandparents and young adults. Health professionals from the local South Western Sydney district also discussed the limited data collection and research on hepatitis B transmission available in the local community.
Overall, it was a wonderful event to attend with the Assyrian community and the everyone looked like they were having fun. It was a good opportunity to provide hepatitis B testing. The organisers of the event were exemplary and we look forward to working together in future years.
Report by Hae Chung