The Partnership was established in 2016

as the Migrant and Refugee Women’s Health Partnership, in recognition that women from migrant and refugee backgrounds often face greater challenges in accessing health care and that their health care needs are complicated by pre migration experiences. The Partnership quickly grew into a national clinician-community collaboration to address systemic barriers to access to health care for migrants and refugees, with a focus on women as a particularly vulnerable group.

The Partnership’s key priority over the first two years was the development of the competency standards framework for clinicians in the context of cultural responsiveness and working with people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. The Partnership also developed relevant resources, and sought to inform policy and practice through consultation and advice.

The work of the Partnership was overseen by the Working Group with representation from 11 medical colleges, peak professional bodies for nurses and midwives, community, and government.

Two specialist sub-working groups were formed to further inform the work:

  • Sub-Working Group on Refugee Women’s Health and Settlement
  • Sub-Working Group on Effective Communication and Working with Interpreters in Health Care Settings

These working structures convened regularly to progress the Partnership’s priorities.

In early 2019, following the completion and the launch of the competency standards framework—a major milestone for the Partnership—and a strategic review, our name changed to Migrant and Refugee Health Partnership. This is reflective of the evolution of the Partnership’s scope since its inception, providing a broader focus on migrant and refugee health. Women’s health has been and will remain one the Partnership’s key priorities.