Building genomics health literacy for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Health literacy is recognised as an important factor in discussion of safety and quality in healthcare. According to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare almost 60 per cent of adult Australians have low individual health literacy.

Low health literacy limits a person’s ability to effectively exercise their choice or voice when making healthcare decisions. That figure is likely to be even higher for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Low individual health literacy is associated with adverse health outcomes.

Community Group members Satrio Nindyo Istiko and Lindsay Fowles worked closely with Queensland Genomics and QIMR Berghofer to improve genomics literacy in multicultural Queensland.

In 2019, the team developed and delivered genomics education sessions to bilingual health workers and medical interpreters.


The medical interpreter training sessions held in 2019 were accredited with AUSIT for continuing professional development and proved extremely popular with the medical interpreter community in Brisbane.

Due to the success of this project in 2019, in 2020 the project again delivered medical interpreter training sessions, and developed an ongoing training resource for medical interpreters beyond the life of Qld Genomics [access training below].

Researchers from QIMR Berghofer are currently evaluating the education sessions to help build a body of evidence for organisations looking to deliver medical interpreter training in the future.

The Language of Genetics & Genomics – Healthcare Interpreter Training

This training session will provide multicultural healthcare interpreters with a background on genomics in healthcare and introduce common genetics and genomics medical terms.


What does a Genetic Counsellor do?

A Genetic Counsellor is an allied health professional with specialised training in genetics. They can investigate your personal and family health history to better understand your genetic risks. They will also help you decide what genetic testing, if any, is best for you and your family.


Project Investigators

Project leaders engage with and draw upon the expertise of partners within universities, research institutes and hospital and health services around Queensland.

Satrio Nindyo Istiko, Queensland Positive People; Queensland Genomics Community Group

Dr Lindsay Fowles, Metro North Hospital and Health Service; Queensland Genomics Community Group

Dr Erin Evans, Health Consumers Queensland; Queensland Genomics Community Group

Dr Nic Waddell, QIMR Berghofer; Queensland Genomics Community Group

Katrina Cutler, Queensland Genomics; Queensland Genomics Community Group

Kate Sullivan, Queensland Genomics

Miranda Vidgen, QIMR Berghofer