Researchers behind a study to improve healthcare outcomes for people from culturally and linguistically diverse CALD backgrounds are calling for participants to tell of their experiences.
Professor Julian Grant from Charles Sturt University wants to hear the stories and experiences from people living in Griffith, Wagga Wagga, Albury, Wondonga and Young.
"We want to hear from people in regional areas because it is irrefutably known that people from CALD backgrounds have negative healthcare outcomes," she said.
"This is all happening before COVID-19 which has added another layer to make it more difficult for these people to seek medical attention."
Previous studies have shown that culturally and linguistically diverse people avoid healthcare out of fear and previous bad experiences.
This, and the overt racism from political leaders and mainstream media surrounding COVID-19 was the motivation behind the study.
"Many people perpetrate or receive racism on a daily basis and the term itself has become a scary word," Professor Grant said.
"We want to focus on 'micro racism' - that's what we call 'everyday racism' snide looks and comments made to a person."
Professor Grant says that there have been examples of this type of racism in the past.
"We looked back to 2003 and the SARS pandemic where it was labelled by leaders in a racist way," she said.
The crux of the study according to Professor Grant is to provide the government and medical community with information to focus on new tailored healthcare strategies as opposed to broad population-based strategies.
"We just want to help everyone look after each other," she said.
They are hoping to hear from 60 people in the MIA and each participant can nominate how they would like to participate in the study.
For more information about how to participate visit the project website.