The ageing of immigrant communities in Australia

Julie Margaret Bradshaw

Monash University, Australia


Data from the Australian census ( 2001, 2006) show different age profiles of immigrant communities. The Southern European immigrants of the post-war period are reaching a life stage where medical needs are increasing at a time when language skills may be diminishing. These demographic changes have implications for the planning of services such as translation and interpreting for those with limited English skills, particularly in the medical domain. Communication in medical settings was reported by focus groups from a number of immigrant communities as particularly problematic, and Italian-Australian focus group participants identified the future of the ageing population as the primary problem facing the Italian community in Australia. This paper examines census data for the State of Victoria, reports on the needs of community groups in the face of changing age profiles and discusses the implications for service provision and language support, particularly in the medical domain.

Session: Paper session
Age 2 / Identity
Saturday, April 5, 2008, 13:45-15:15
room: 04