We are delighted to announce that this week, our much-loved community-led initiative, M-CAN (Multicultural Community Action Network), has finally CHANGED into the MHSS Advisory Body.

Established in 2015, M-CAN worked towards building the capacity of communities around sexual health promotion, and prevention of blood borne viruses (BBVs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Over the last 7 years, with over 128 members, M-CAN has provided a judgment-free and inclusive platform run by community members themselves to talk about sexual health issues by taking away the taboo, particularly around STIs. During 2019-2021, M-CAN organised 24 co-designed workshops, 2 social media campaigns and educated over 300 participants.

With this restructure, as an advisory body, It will serve as a platform for communities and stakeholders to collaborate and build long-term partnerships on developing culturally appropriate approaches to working effectively with members of migrant and refugee communities.

For 2022, the advisory body has 12 members from the following community and Victoria’s leading organisations working towards the common goal of improving access to sexual health information and services that are peer-led, culturally appropriate, and stigma-free.

· Resourcing health & EDucation (RhED)

· Respectful Communities, Monash University

· 1800 My Options

· Drummond Street Services

· Your Sexual Health Yard (YSHY)

· Living Positive Victoria

· Sunraysia Mallee ethnic communities’ council (Smecc)


· VASA – Pacefika Communities

· Positive Wellness Recovery Centre (PWRC)

· African Family services

· Pacific Islander community


The advisory body will:

· Discuss the development of programs and services that ensure community access to culturally appropriate sexual and reproductive health information and services.

· Contribute and provide feedback on joint opportunities with MHSS, partner organisations and community agencies.

· Advise and facilitate partnerships that nurture cultural diversity, capacity building, and increase community connections.

· Contribute to and provide feedback on the effectiveness of activities, forums, roundtables, projects, programs, and events relating for the community

· Advocate on issues related to sexual and reproductive health for their communities and help MHSS to identify the needs of their communities regarding sexual health.

· Provide a link between CEH/MHSS and their community.

For more information and collaborations or to join the MHSS advisory body for 2023, please send your EOI to kanwals@ceh.org.au