Co-designing effective COVID-19 communications with CALD youth in Victoria

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a transdisciplinary team of researchers led by Monash Arts’ Professor Rebecca Wickes, Director, Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre (MMIC) in partnership with Action Lab (Faculty of IT), the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation and BehaviourWorks Australia came together to work on a timely project.

This project analysed ways that organisations, working specifically with young people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, could be better supported in terms of their digital and social media engagement.

‘Co-designing and scaling effective COVID-19 communication strategies for young people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Victoria’ was funded by the Victorian Government’s Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH). The researchers worked closely with people aged 18-25 from six ethno-cultural backgrounds to understand their information needs as well as organisations working with CALD young people in Victoria.

In addition to conducting interviews with young people and non-government and community organisations, the researchers partnered with five organisations through a participatory, inclusive and digitally innovative approach that involved co-designing social media playbooks. The partner organisations were:

Australian Karen Organisation

Centre for Multicultural Youth, La Mana Pasifika

Migrante Melbourne

The Huddle, North Melbourne Football Club


The playbooks were co-designed and co-developed to encourage engagement with digital and social media and contained a series of strategies (or plays) that these organisations could use to give young people a greater role and voice through the technologies that they already have (mobile phones and tablets) and the social media they use (such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook and Instagram).

The report contains the key findings, strategic opportunities and a series of actionable steps related to the project.

The report is available here.

The executive summary is available here.

The social media playbook is available here.

The report launch webinar is available here.

Project team:

Professor Rebecca Wickes, MMIC

Dr Charishma Ratnam, MMIC

Dr Delvin Varghese, Action Lab

Professor Patrick Olivier, Action Lab

Rebecca Powell, MMIC

Professor Helen Skouteris, Centre for Health Research and Implementation

Professor Liam Smith, BehaviourWorks Australia

Associate Professor Helen Forbes-Mewett, MMIC

Dr Tom Bartindale. Action Lab

Kieran Hegarty, MMIC