NRCH Podcast

North Richmond Community Health (NRCH) is excited to be able to share with you the work that we do within our community, the many uplifting community stories and to celebrate the lives and achievements of our community through NRCH’s Podcast.

Episode 31 | Lifelines – Community Naloxone Program

You can learn to save a life in 5 minutes and be a lifeline for your loved ones or community members. 

In this episode, Crios, Proactive Overdose Response Initiative (PORI) Coordinator at NRCH’s Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR), sheds light on the opioid overdose landscape in Melbourne. Learn how prescription opioids contribute significantly to overdose statistics and how we can prevent overdose fatalities on a wider scale. We also talk to residents of the North Richmond community to understand the personal impact of naloxone training. 

This epidose was produced in commemoration of International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD). 

Special thanks to:

  • Crios O’Mahony, Proactive Overdose Response Initiative (PORI) Coordinator

and local residents:

  • Judy
  • Tanya and;
  • Elizabeth

You can listen to this episode on:

Episode 30 | Embracing Freedom: Khanh’s Journey as a Refugee in Australia

In this episode, we join Khanh Lam, who found freedom as a refugee in Australia as a small boy from Vietnam. He tells us how finding freedom in Australia transformed his family’s life, enabling him to pursue his dreams and build a better future. 

We also hear from guests at the Twilight Market event, held at the Factory in Richmond, to mark #RefugeeWeek. Refugees share their perception of freedom with us, including stories of resilience and overcoming difficulties during their transition to Australia.

This episode was recorded in commemoration of Refugee Week.


Khanh Lam – Help and Support Officer

You can listen to this episode on:

Episode 29 | Walking the Path to a Healthier life with the Men’s Walking Group

Last week we walked with NRCH’s Men’s Walking Group, led by facilitator Wayne Russell (NRCH Consumer and Community Liaison) and learnt how walking and companionship can make a significant difference to men’s health. In this episode we explore the impact small changes can have on our lives.


    • Wayne Russell, Consumer and Community Liaison at NRCH
    • Phil and Robbie, Men’s Walking Group members

    You can listen to this episode on:

    Episode 28 | Addressing mental health stigma in African communities

    In this episode, Achut Thuc (Mental Health Project Coordinator) discusses the unspoken battles and hidden stories surrounding mental health in Sudanese and Somali communities.

    How does your community respond when someone faces mental illness?

    This podcast will examine deep-rooted beliefs, and cultural norms that shape our response. We’ll also explore the potential for compassion and understanding that lies within.

    This episode also discusses the art of empathetic conversation! Our guests provide practical insights and guidance on how to approach and support someone who might be experiencing mental health challenges in our communities.

    Tune in to be part of the conversation that aims to empower, educate, and break down barriers.

    Presented by:

    • Achut Thuc, Yarra Housing Estate Mental Health Project Coordinator at NRCH


    • Maryan Mohamed, Health and Wellbeing Officer at NRCH
    • Kuich Johnson, Health and Wellbeing Officer at NRCH

    You can listen to this episode on:

    Episode 27 | Vape escape: the hidden dangers of vaping

    In this episode, Kuich (our Health and Wellbeing Officer) leads the discussion with two other young people and a compassionate counselor from Cancer Council Victoria, in an eye-opening discussion about vaping.

    What’s fueling the surge in e-cigarette and vaping use, especially among young people? We discuss the factors that have contributed to this phenomenon. We’ll delve into the allure of enticing flavors, uncover sneaky marketing tactics used by influencers and social media platforms, and give practical tips on how you can reduce harm to yourself and help your friends who are trying to quit. Listen in and let’s shed light on the dangers hidden behind the glossy filters and hashtags.

    Special thanks to Yarra Youth Services for hosting us, Cancer Council Victoria, and Quit for your guidance and support.

    Presented by:

    • Kuich Johnson, Health and Wellbeing Officer


    • Honey
    • Henry
    • Teresa Ponchard  Quitline Counsellor

    You can listen to this episode on:

    Episode 26 | Transforming healthcare for Muslim women

    In this International Womens Day episode, Rida comments on religious stereotypes in the healthcare system. She also covers the impact of social media ‘wellness influencers’, and how we can build better communication, trust, and rapport between healthcare workers and Muslim women.


    • Rida Aleem Khan

      You can listen to this episode on:


      Episode 25 | Breaking barriers, Building Health: Hoa’s mission to empower communities 

      One of the myths about healthcare is that it is only about what happens in the hospital. Hoa’s story highlights that you don’t need to be a doctor to improve health outcomes – you just need to care.

      This episode follows Hoa, a Health and Support officer in the Community Empowerment and Development (CED) team at NRCH.  We follow her as she co-designs health programs with her community, and collaborates with local organisations to achieve greater health outcomes for everyone.


      • Hoa Tran – Health and Support Officer
      • Community Empowerment and Development (CED) team at NRCH
      • The Salvation Army
      • Carringbush Adult Education
      • The Community Connectors program, which seeks to fund local engagement through the employment of local residents living on the Richmond housing estate.

        You can listen to this episode on:


        Episode 24 | Reflections from the Frontlines

        In this episode, our staff shares their personal experiences dealing with the stress and uncertainty of the past couple of years. We discuss the ways in which we have adapted to continue providing essential services to the community, including the changes in workplace infrastructure and the emotional toll the pandemic has had on staff.

        This episode provides valuable insight into the challenges faced by workers during the pandemic but also serves as a reminder of the importance of mental health and emotional well-being in the workplace.


        • Jess Murray – Harm Reduction Practitioner at MSIR
        • Imogen Jordan – Complex Vaccine Case Manager
        • Ali Hassan Pervaiz – Security Manager at NRCH
        • Wayne Russell – Consumer and Community Liaison
        • Dr Matt Penn – General Practitioner
        • Brendan Coulton – Executive Manager Community Services and Consumer Empowerment

        You can listen to this episode on:


        Episode 23 | Positive: How a HIV diagnosis changed my life – for the better

        As a child, Nathan grew up seeing the stigma and devastation of HIV/AIDs as portrayed in the media. One day Nathan was diagnosed as HIV positive. It was hard to see it at the time, but it was the catalyst he needed to live his best life – and now he is helping others to do the same.

        In this episode, Nathan talks about his experience with modern-day medical treatment, and how he uncovered his life purpose. He reveals the major difficulty he had with the HIV diagnosis was not the physical stressors like fatigue or sickness, but something else entirely.

        This episode was produced in commemoration of Human Rights Day (10 December).

        Guests: Nathan Cair
        Host: Mia Birrell

        You can listen to this episode on:


        Episode 22 | My Hepatitis B Story

        This week’s episode features Mei –  a Hepatitis B advocate, and Gab – a Clinical Nurse Consultant. Mei talks to Gab about her own journey with Hepatitis B, and what health workers can do to give the best care to people living with Hepatitis B.  This episode was created in partnership with St Vincent’s Hospital as part of their Hepatitis B Community Perspectives Project.

        You can listen to this episode on:


        Episode 21 | Beyond the binary: how can we rethink gender-based violence?

        To respond to violence, we need to address the root causes. These include patriarchy, systems of oppression, systemic racism, and inequalities. We also need to think about how gender is viewed in society. Today’s episode features Christina Hotka deconstructing the core themes of 16 Days of Activism.

        Mx Christina Hotka (they/them) is a proud queer, non binary intersectional feminist, abolitionist, activist and community organiser. They have practiced alongside marginalised communities for 12 years in Meanjin and Naarm in the Not For Profit, government and private sectors inclusive of key practice leadership roles in family/intimate partner violence. They enjoy being an overall ratbag and serenading their cat with Enya. 

          You can listen to this episode on:


          Episode 20 | How can Occupational Therapists support your child?

          This episode celebrates Occupational Therapy Week. Speech pathologists Betty and Livia speak with Occupational Therapist (OT) Leo Gnavi, to discuss how OTs benefit the health and well-being of children.

          Betty and Livia also talk about how you can prepare your child for their first week at school.


          • Livia Li – Speech Pathologist
          • Betty La – Speech Pathologist

          with special guest:

          • Leo Gnavi: Occupational Therapist

          You can listen to this episode on:


          Episode 19 | Book Reading for Language Learning

          Speech therapists from NRCH empower caregivers to support their children with speech and language development. In this episode with the Child Health and Development (CHAD) team, Speech Pathologists Livia and Betty chat about how to support children’s language development by using books at different ages and stages.

          Produced and presented by: Livia Li, Speech Pathologist Betty La, Speech Pathologist (pictured above L-R)

            Available to listen on:


            Episode 18 | Could the MSIR hold the key to eradicating hepatitis C?








            This episode explores how hepatitis C is tackled and treated at NRCH’s Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR). The national campaign to eradicate hepatitis C can only succeed if it reaches people who inject drugs.

            To that end, the MSIR has designed a service that is quick and easy to access, helping people who inject drugs to receive treatment they likely would not have been able to access in the past. As such, the MSIR will be critical if Victoria is to eradicate hepatitis C.


            • Jen Anderson – MSIR Registered Nurse
            • Sione Crawford –  CEO, Harm Reduction Victoria
            • Dr Jacinta Holmes – Department of Gastroenterology, St Vincent’s Hospital

            Presented by: Dr Nico Clark and Mia Birrell

            You can listen to this episode on:


            Episode 17 | HRAR’s last day 


            This episode commemorates the last day of the High Risk Accommodation Response (HRAR) program and reflects on the achievements of our HRAR superstars. Nuraini asks staff about their success with the community and their dreams moving forward.

            Presented by Nuraini Mahamud

              Available to listen on:

              Episode 16 | NRCH Meeting Place Café launch 

              NRCH has officially launched the Meeting Place Café. We unveiled the new alfresco area and the new neon sign at the front of the NRCH building. Listen in to be a part of the celebration and hear our community members give their candid reviews of the new menu!

                Available to listen on:

                Episode 15 | War and healing

                 What is healing for people who have escaped war and persecution?

                In this episode, we discuss healing from a perspective that is not about masking and forgetting suffering, but pushing us to create a more caring world.

                This podcast was produced in commemoration of Refugee Week and is presented by Achut Thuc (NRCH Mental Health Coordinator – Yarra Public Housing).


                Maryan Mohamed, Health and Wellbeing Concierge, NRCH
                Martha Monyping, Former Community and Consumer Liaison, NRCH

                  Available to listen on:


                  Episode 14 | Managing addictions – Dr. Tony’s work at the medically supervised injecting room

                  Since retiring as the Director of Anaesthetics at the Alfred Hospital, Dr. Tony Weeks has been helping NRCH provide addiction support to clients of the medically supervised injecting room (MSIR). With the help of Medical Director, Dr. Nico Clark, Dr. Tony and MSIR staff have developed an industry leading Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) program using Long Acting Injectable Buprenorphine (LAIB). In this episode, we learn more about Dr. Tony’s journey, how this program works and what the treatment involves. We also have the privilege of hearing from former MSIR client Peter whose life has been transformed by OAT.

                  This episode is co-hosted by Dr. Nico Clark, the Medical Director of the MSIR. Dr. Nico is an addiction medicine doctor with 25 years of experience in the Alcohol and Other Drug industry providing opioid pharmacotherapy treatment. He has conducted research and published on different options for opioid pharmacotherapy and, while working for the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva was instrumental in the development of the current global guidelines on pharmacotherapy.

                  Presented by:

                  • Dr. Nico Clarke, Medical Director of MSIR
                  • Mia Birrell, NRCH Podcast Mentor

                  Available to listen on:


                  Episode 13 | What does reconciliation mean to me?

                  To mark National Reconciliation Week, NRCH participated in a march around the Richmond housing estate, led by local resident Uncle Robbie Thorpe, a proud Gunai and Kulin nation man. This episode documents that day, and explores what reconciliation means to our community.

                  Available to listen on:


                  Episode 12 | Your first session at the Speech Pathologist – FAQs

                  Following the episode Introducing Speech Pathology with the Child Health and Development (CHAD) team, in this episode, Speech Pathologists Livia and Betty address the frequently asked questions about what to expect for your child’s first speech pathology assessment session at North Richmond Community Health.

                  They chat about when to seek help from a Speechie, what the assessments look at, and the next steps following the first appointment.

                  Presented by:

                  • Betty La – Speech Pathologist, NRCH
                  • Livia Li – Speech Pathologist, NRCH
                  • Mia Birrell – Podcast Mentor

                    Available to listen on:


                    Episode 11 | Winter is coming!

                    Now that we have minimal COVID-19 restrictions, we will likely expect an increase in transmission of COVID and, for the first time in a few years, a resurgence in influenza.

                    Today we talk with our health experts about their approach to community engagement and vaccine advocacy within our East African community. We also discuss long COVID, influenza, and why being up to date with all our COVID-19 and influenza vaccination is as important now as ever. 

                    Guests include: 

                    • Omar Elmi – Project Officer, CEH
                    • Ambereen Faroukue  – Long COVID Project Officer, CEH
                    • Imogen Jordan – Community Nurse, (acting) Complex Case Vaccine Manager

                    Available to listen on:


                    Episode 10 | #LongLifeForAll: Cultural competence in the helping profession

                    It’s World Immunisation Week and the theme is Long Life For All. This episode explores vaccine equity and special risk groups, with particular attention to migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum.

                    Dr. Gloria (right) and Pier (left) discuss what cultural competence is, what it looks like in a healthcare setting, and how we can apply it in our workplace to give the best care. They also discuss the collective actions needed to create successful health promotion and immunisation campaigns for diverse communities, and ultimately how immunisation has reduced vaccine-preventable diseases in Australia.

                    Guests include:

                    • Piergiorgio (Pier) Moro – Coordinator Multicultural Health and Support Service
                    • Dr Gloria Moscattini – GP at NRCH

                    Available to listen on:


                    Episode 9 | Introducing Speech Pathology: How parents can support children to thrive in a multilingual environment

                    NRCH provides therapy services for young children, offering Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Dietetics support. In this episode, we speak to two Speech Pathologists from the Child Health and Development Team at NRCH who will be introducing and exploring the services available, the popular topic of bilingualism and how parents can support their youngsters to thrive in a multilingual environment.

                    Presented by:

                    • Livia Li, Speech Pathologist
                    • Betty La, Speech Pathologist

                    Available to listen on:


                    Episode 8 | #breakthebias: CALD Women and Mental Health

                    The 2022 theme for International Women’s Day is #breakthebias, and in this episode we discuss this topic with health professionals at NRCH – focusing on women’s mental health in the community, the attitudes towards mental health in different cultures, and addressing the barriers women face to receive support.

                    Guests include:

                    • Faiza Mahat, Community Nurse
                    • Nazik Nasser, Counselling Casework Program Manager

                    Available to listen on:


                    Episode 7 | No-one Left Behind: How the MSIR Responded to COVID-19

                    The Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) is a program of North Richmond Community Health, and the facility has remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as an essential health service to help support people who inject drugs. Staff have worked with a simple goal in mind: to make sure no one is left behind. In practice, this meant both staff and clients have had to adapt to every new challenge presented by the pandemic.

                    Today we discuss how they implemented measures to ensure the MSIR could safely remain open during a pandemic so that it could continue to save lives and reduce pressure on Victoria’s public health and hospital system. We also talk to MSIR clients about their experience with the clinic, and staff members discuss the heart of their roles and the broader objectives of the clinic.

                    Guests include:

                    Dr. Nico Clark, MSIR’s Medical Director
                    Sarah Hiley, MSIR’s Team Leader, Harm Reduction Practitioner team


                    Available to listen on:


                    Episode 6 | COVID-19 Vaccines for 5-11 Year Olds and the Future of Boosters

                    In today’s episode, our special guests discuss caregivers’ concerns about the Covid vaccine for children aged 5-11 years old. We also discuss the future of boosters and the challenges faced by our NRCH health professionals working on the frontline.

                    Guests include:

                    Sally Cordina, Practice Manager – Oral Health and Medical Services
                    Charlotte Grove, Community Health Nurse/Vaccination Clinic Coordinator
                    Faiza Mahat, Community Nurse


                    Available to listen on:

                    Episode 5 | The Fruits of Local Collaboration – Food Security in the Community

                    In today’s episode, we discuss how local organisations have joined forces to create new pathways to receive food assistance throughout the pandemic. We talk about how they helped to remove barriers and stigma, and even how they have empowered those in need to grow their own food in small city spaces.

                    Guests include:

                    Tom Mitchell, Community Food Project Coordinator and Cafe Manager at NRCH
                    Sally Anthony, Community Development Worker at BANH
                    Peta Christensen, Food Systems Leader at Cultivating Community


                    Available to listen on:


                    Episode 4 | COVID-19 and Our Resilient Community

                    In this episode, we are talking to a group of speakers who live and work in our community about their own stories during the pandemic and learning about how they recovered after a tough time, and how they are helping others to come back stronger, and more resilient than before the pandemic. This is an episode about serving the community and living in community during this once-in-a-generation pandemic.

                    Guests include:
                    Faiza Mahat, Community Enrolled Nurse at NRCH
                    Conor Sibly, Community Development Worker at BANH
                    Quinn Taylor, Community Wellbeing Officer at City Of Yarra Libraries
                    Maryan, Health and Wellbeing Concierge at NRCH
                    Achut Thuc, Yarra Public Housing Mental Health Project Coordinator at NRCH

                    Listen to this episode on:

                    Available to listen on:


                    Episode 3 | 16 Days of Activism – Shining a Light on Family Violence During COVID-19

                    Content warning: This episode describes experiences of domestic violence. For some people, this could feel overwhelming. If you need to talk to someone, support is available. If you, or someone you know, is in immediate danger, call 000. Or call Lifeline on (13 11 14), they can help put you in contact with a crisis service in your state 24 hours, 7 days a week. Or call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732. Or you can call Achut Thuc, NRCH Mental Health Project Coordinator (Yarra Housing Estate) on 0459963517.

                    Since the outbreak of COVID-19, reports have shown that all types of violence against women and girls has intensified into what is now referred to as the ‘”shadow pandemic”, and in Australia, service providers reported a two 3rds increase in clients.

                    So how do you know what domestic violence looks like, especially in the changing landscape of covid-19? What has it been like to serve on the frontline of the shadow pandemic? How can survivors get support, and can we end gender-based violence? What can we do in practical ways to support survivors?

                    Our guests today include those making a difference locally, from NRCH: Achut Thuc, Mental Health Coordinator, Maryan Mohamed, Health and Wellbeing Concierge, Rebekah Pozega, Counselling Case Worker, and Meron – HRAR Health Concierge.

                    Available to listen on:


                    Episode 2 | COVID-19 Vaccines: What Young People and Parents Need to Know

                    Victorians aged 12 and older are now eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine!

                    In this second episode, we speak to Sandra (Team Leader at Richmond Youth Hub), Raghda (COVID-19 Youth Ambassador) and Dr. Ines Rio (Specialist General Practitioner at NRCH) about why the vaccine is essential for young people. We also talk about vaccine hesitancy in younger people, how to overcome it, and how to increase vaccine uptake in younger people.

                    Available to listen on:

                    Episode 1 | Hurrah for HRAR

                    In this first episode, we spoke to NRCH’s High Risk Accommodation Response (HRAR) team, Laura, Martha, and Wayne, about their strategy in helping to keep our community connected during the pandemic and how they came to achieve one of the highest vaccination rates in Victoria.

                    Available to listen on:

                    Stay tuned for more episodes!

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