By Brendan Rees
More than a hundred people from the Afghan community gathered in Cranbourne for an evening of poetry and music focusing on a healthier liver on Friday July 20.
The event, held at Amberlee Reception was part of a campaign to educate the community about hepatitis in the lead up to World Hepatitis Day on July 28.
Presented by the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH) and the Bakhtar Cultural Association, the night was a celebration through performance in English and Farsi, looking at ways of improving the health and well-being of the liver in the Afghan community.
CEH spokesman Matthew Loads said the liver has an important place in Persian poetry and the literature of Dari speaking countries, so exploring health through poetry and music was a fun and entertaining way to spark discussion.
Member for Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos, Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs Inga Peulich and Labor candidate for Narre Warren South Gary Maas were guest speakers.
The evening also featured information on hepatitis awareness from refugee and migrant health experts.
A musical performance using traditional Afghan instruments and a series of poems were performed in Dari and translated for the audience into English.
Co-Manager of CEH Alison Coelho said the Victorian Government had highlighted the importance of sharing consistent, quality health information about Hepatitis with people from refugee and migrant backgrounds and events like this are part of an effort to meet those goals.
“The Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health manages a range of projects and services that aim to increase integration between health and human services and people from refugee and migrant backgrounds,” she said.