Mobile phones to connect refugee women

Refugees have a huge cultural distance to cover on arrival in Australia – a transition that generates a demand for knowledge of information that we take for granted. Offering peer support training and free call mobile phones to small groups of refugee women is lowering communication barriers and strengthening communities.

Mobile phones to connect refugee women

Speaker bio: Dr Dennis Wollersheim

Lecturer, Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Public Health and Human Biosciences, Department of Health Information Management

Dennis has always been very interested in technology. He first worked with computers for 15 years; programming, systems analysis, support, and management. After this technological immersion, he discovered that people were also somewhat useful, so he studied and worked as a social worker. The social work path may have continued, but the internet arrived, and it lured him back into technology.

The dot com era held many delights, but the boom did not bring Dennis riches. Instead, he pursued a Phd in computer science, and now teaches health informatics in the School of Public Health, integrating the social work and and love for technology. His current research focuses on how technology can be used to promote health, currently looking at how structured peer support and mobile phones can increase community capacity among refugee women.