FORUMS | Other Past Activities - Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Sciences (Transcultural Mental Health)

The VTPU developed the curriculum for the Graduate Diploma in Transcultural Mental Health under the imprimatur of the University of Melbourne in 1995. By the end of 2000 some 40 people had completed the whole course or component parts of it. The students themselves represented a number of Asian, African, European and Indigenous communities in Australia, including recently arrived refugee professionals, long established migrants, second generation children of migrants, Anglo-Australians of many generations’ settlement and Indigenous Australians. The program was taught by VTPU staff and external lecturers from the fields of anthropology, Aboriginal studies, sociology, nursing, language and cultural studies, psychology, psychiatry and policy. The program closed in 2000.

Graduate Diploma student research projects (of 10,000 words) comprising original research include a variety of subjects; some highlights are the following:

  • Attitudes to family change in Vietnamese elderly people;
  • Health promotion in a multicultural population;
  • Indigenous access to mainstream mental health services in Australia and New Zealand;
  • Services information provision for Bosnian women survivors of sexual assault;
  • Culturally appropriate support groups for elderly Italian cancer patients;
  • Mainstream clinician knowledge of indigenous mental health issues;
  • An analysis of immigrant status in connection with potential risk factors for adolescent psychology;
  • Transcultural content in nursing curricula;
  • Somali conceptions and concerns of parenting in Australia


  • The establishment of an accredited university course at graduate level focused on transcultural mental health for health and welfare professionals for the first time in Australia.

  • From 1996-2000 forty health and welfare professionals who were engaged in the course either full-time or part time acquired transcultural mental health knowledge to contribute to their workplaces.

  • Student research projects compiled a body of knowledge regarding transcultural mental health issues in Victoria, Australia useful for practitioners, students and libraries.