Can Get Health is a place-based, community-led, capacity building project that engages with vulnerable communities and community organisations to: (1) improve access to comprehensive primary health care services; (2) increase individual and community health literacy; and (3) identify and work with relevant stakeholders to address at least one social determinant of health.

Project Status

Completed Projects

Chief Investigator

Fiona Haigh

Project Coordinator

Barbara Hawkshaw (CESPHN)

Team Member

Amy Bestman

Project Rationale

Analysis of the distribution of the social determinants of health within the SLHD and CESPHN catchment showed that residents of the former Canterbury LGA have a higher level of risk factors for health inequity than populations of other areas of the catchment including: greater risk of premature mortality and higher levels of morbidity; more culturally and linguistically diverse profile; higher levels of socioeconomic disadvantage; low literacy in English, and; poor health literacy. The project is underpinned by the commitment of the partner organisations to social justice and to reduce inequities in the distribution of health within their populations. 

Project Aim/s

To improve health and reduce inequities for marginalised culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) populations in the Canterbury region

Project Design and Method

The Can Get Health in Canterbury project is a partnership between SLHD- HERDU, CESPHN and UNSW – CPHCE. The project has been running since 2014.

Any Publications/Presentations


  • 2 March 2018 at Sydney - SLHD Equity fest by Barbara Hawkshaw & Feroza Yasmin
  • 2-4 May 2018 at Sydney - 2018 Public Health Prevention Conference by Elizabeth Harris 
  • 4 July 2018 at Sydney - CPHCE Staff Planning Day 2018 by Gisselle Gallego
  • 19 July 2018 at Sydney - Centre for Education and Workforce Development SLHD by Barbara Hawkshaw
  • 10 April 2019 at New Zealand - IUHPE  by Jane Lloyd, Feroza Yasmin, Barbara Hawkshaw


The Rohingya Little Local, as part of Can Get Health in Canterbury, provided funding to the Rohingya community in Canterbury. The aim in providing this funding and program support was to enhance the capacity, confidence and skills of community members to improve social connection, health and wellbeing within the Rohingya community in Canterbury – their local environment. The community chose to use these funds to organise a futsal tournament and dinner. The event, held in January 2019, was attended by 172 people. Additionally, the community will also use the funds to organise a family picnic later in the year.

Can Get Health in Canterbury is a partnership between the University of New South Wales Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity (CPHCE), Sydney Local Health District - Health Equity and Research Development Unit (HERDU) and Central and Eastern Sydney PHN (CESPHN).   Can Get Health in Canterbury aims to improve health and reduce inequities for marginalised culturally and linguistically diverse populations in the Canterbury area.  After 6 years in operation the project is transitioning away from CESPHN and into the Sydney Local Health District’s Diversity Program and Strategy Hub. An evaluation of CGHiC was conducted in May 2020 which identified the positive impacts of the project on the health and wellbeing of migrant and refugee communities targeted by the project, and on the capacity of service providers to better meet the needs of  diverse clients. The evaluation also identified the impact of CGHiC in advancing the strategic goals and objectives of SLHD, CESPHN and CPHCE and  implementing innovative  approaches and research at address health inequities in Canterbury. 

For more information please click here


Final Evaluation Can Get Health in Canterbury 


Barbara Hawkshaw Phone: 1300 986 991 Email:

Key Partners

Metro Assist, Canterbury City Community Centre (4Cs), Burmese Rohingya Community in Australia (BRCA), Muslim Women’s Association, Lakemba and Hampden Park Schools, Settlement Services International (SSI), Canterbury Child and Family Interagency (CCFI)



Project lead centre
Project stream
Action for Equity
Project start date
01 July 2018
Project end date
31 June 2020