Communities we work with | Insights

Taking control of online health

Indochinese Elderly Refugees Association is running Health My Way to support their community's digital health literacy.

By Good Things Foundation Australia · 28/07/2020

Mr Lan Ngoc Nguyen was a teacher in Vietnam and migrated to Australia in 2006 to reunite with his children. A lifelong learner, Mr Lan was eager to find a group in Melbourne where he could continue studying and gaining new skills.

“I used to worry about my new life here as I arrived at a very late age of 64 years old and my English was very poor. I was feeling homesick until I joined the Indochinese Elderly Refugees Association. There is a strong sense of community here and now I’m taking English classes and computer classes in my native language of Vietnamese.”

Indochinese Elderly Refugees Association (IERA) is running Health My Way to support their community to improve their digital health literacy.

Prior to his Health My Way classes, Mr Lan wasn’t aware of the tools available to him. “My friends and people my age do not mention much about digital health tools. Before the class, I had never heard of My Health Record or what it was. And I confess that creating a MyGov account was too complicated for me.”

Now, Mr Lan is a strong advocate for taking control of his health online. “I started very slowly, step by step, and thanks to the patience from IERA tutors, I now recognise the importance of My Health Record more and more. I’ve learned that I don’t need to print out my records and I can see everything on the screen of My Health Record right under my fingertips.”

Mr Lan is now counting his steps when he’s outside for exercise or going to the shops, too. He is looking forward to joining his regular Monday and Wednesday digital skills sessions once social distancing restrictions have eased.

“Once you still have your health and good memory, you should learn something new – especially for the people my age. I wish I knew more about using those health tools before the COVID-19 crisis and isolation so I could have been better equipped with information and advice from health experts. But, it is never too late to learn.”


Mr Lan learning while socially distanced with his tutor Ly.