Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many seniors from migrant and refugee communities have become isolated to protect themselves against COVID-19. While vaccine uptake among older people has been high, many are still struggling with misinformation and hesitancy, which is preventing people from getting vaccinated.

The Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria (ECCV) interviewed inspiring seniors from diverse backgrounds and created this series of videos in Greek, Italian, Arabic, Hindi, Punjabi, Turkish, Macedonian, Cantonese, Chaldean, Dari, Dinka, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

Each video is an informative account of why they chose to get vaccinated, and the importance of having accurate and up-to-date information on the vaccine and its benefits.

Visit the Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria for more information.

Randa's story

Randa Abboud runs an Arabic women's seniors group in Dandenong North. She talks about how many older people were afraid to get vaccinated at the start of the pandemic. After her mother’s death from COVID-19, however, she made sure she sought out the right information and shared it with her family and friends. 

Watch Randa's story with English captions. 

Vincent's story

Vincent has been working as a pharmacist in Box Hill since he migrated to Australia from Hong Kong 30 years ago. People in his community, especially the elderly, have had many questions about COVID-19 vaccines. He is always happy to answer these questions. His wife, Lisa, is also a pharmacist and has been supporting the community as a vaccine champion.

Watch Vincent's story with English captions.  

Dalal's story

As president of Australian Chaldean Family Welfare, Dalal has spent a lot of time speaking with members of her community during the pandemic, particularly vulnerable seniors. Dalal found that one of the biggest issues people faced was misinformation and the lack of COVID-19 health information in their language.

Watch Dalals' story with English captions.

Rafaela Lopez headshot, she wears a blue scarf and glasses.Rafaela's story

When Rafaela came to Australia in the 1960s with her family, she helped those around her by translating for them. Helping her friends and family meant that she got to know Melbourne’s Spanish-speaking communities. She eventually became a community advisor, working with the United-Spanish Latin American Welfare Centre.

Watch Rafaela's story in Spanish. Watch Rafaela's story with English captions.   

Sotiris Hatzimanolis headshot, he wears a black tshirt and sits looking at the camera.Sotiris' story

Sotiris is the editor-in-chief of Neos Kosmos. After seeing the how COVID-19 has spread, particularly among Greek community members in aged care, he knew vaccination was the only way to protect the community.

Watch Sotiris' story in Greek. Watch Sotiris' story in Greek with English captions

Reeta's headshot. She wears a yellow top and a brightly coloured necklace.Reeta's story

Reeta is a law lecturer and family dispute practitioner who has worked with Indian seniors groups for more than 20 years. Getting vaccinated has given her the freedom to reconnect with her students, friends and community.

Watch Reeta's story in Punjabi. Watch Reeta's story in Punjabi with English captions.

Watch Reeta's story in Hindi. Watch Reeta's story in Hindi with English captions.

Nouria headshot. She has grey hair and wears red glasses and a fawn coloured jacket.Nouria's story

For the past 38 years, Nouria has been supporting people arriving in Victoria from Afghanistan through the Afghan Australian Development Organisation she founded. Having come to Australia 40 years ago, she knows how important community is to feeling settled and safe in a new country.

Watch Nouria's story in Dari. Watch Nouria's story with English captions.

Lem headshot. He wears glasses and a blue patterned shirt.Lem's story

Throughout the pandemic, many seniors from migrant and refugee communities have become isolated to protect themselves against COVID-19. That’s why Lem made sure to become an advocate for vaccination, helping his community recover and come together.

Watch Lem's story in Dinka. Watch Lem's story in Dinka with English captions.

Nihat headshot. He wears a mustard shirt and smiles at the camera.Nihat's story

Through his involvement with the Alevi Community Council of Australia, Nihat was aware of concerns about the vaccine. Having experienced firsthand what it’s like to watch vaccine-hesitant older family members get COVID-19, however, Nihat wants to make sure that no one has to go through that again.

Watch Nihat's story in Turkish. Watch Nihat's story with English captions.

Sauro headshot. He wears a dark shirt and jacket and smiles at the camera.Sauro's story 

Sauro has been on the Board of the Assisi Centre for almost 30 years and has been involved with Assisi Aged Care since its inception in 1990. He was made Cavaliere Ufficiale by the Italian Government in recognition of his work on behalf of the Italian community.

Watch Sauro's story in Italian. Watch Sauro's story in Italian with English captions.

Kire headshot. He wears a blue shirt and is sitting on a brown couch.Kire's story

Kire’s job as an interpreter at a hospital is about helping people understand but it is also about building a sense of trust. During the pandemic, Kire has been supporting patients to ask questions and understand doctors, including translating at information sessions held for the community.

Watch Kire's story in Macedonian. Watch Kire's story in Macedonian with English captions.

Fartun headshotFartun's story

During the pandemic, Fartun has been supporting the Somali community through the East African Women’s Association she founded. This includes running community information sessions, where she and her team address questions regarding COVID-19 and vaccinations.

Watch Fartun's story in Somali. Watch Fartun's story in Somali with English captions.

Norminda headshotNorminda's story

As Chaplain for Filipino Community Services, Norminda has been working closely with seniors in her community throughout the pandemic to address their fears and concerns. Many older community members have felt nervous about the unknown and Norminda has been working hard to help friends, family and the broader community overcome their fears and learn to live safely during COVID-19.

Watch Norminda's story in Tagalog. Watch Norminda's story in Tagalog with English captions

Cam headshot. She wears a black and white striped shirt, and black glasses.Cam's story

As CEO of the Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association, Cam helps provide in-home care and support to more than 2000 older people in their homes. Because she, along with other tireless aged care providers, care for a high-risk age group, it was important everything was done to protect them.

Watch Cam's story in Vietnamese. Watch Cam's story in Vietnamese with English captions.