Author: 
Grazia Catalano, Multicultural Policy Officer, QCOSS
Multicultural hands

The Queensland Government has just released some excellent policy documents on the Cultural Diversity Policy and the Language Services Policy. They include guidelines for using interpreter and translator services and an action plan that Queensland Government departments have to deliver on to implement the Policies.

As a service provider in the regions it would be useful to check out the action plans and see what the government departments in your area should be able to deliver to provide services to migrant and refugee communities.  

  • The Department of Justice and Attorney General will support access to interpreters by victims of crime through Victims Assist Queensland.
  • The Department of Housing and Public Works will improve the effectiveness of interpreter services to assist people into social and affordable housing solutions, including the use of Rentconnect services; and will streamline funding arrangements to facilitate better access to state funded refuges (safe houses), including access to interpreters for women from CALD backgrounds and their children who are experiencing domestic and family violence.
  • Legal Aid Queensland will work in partnership with Brisbane-based Refugee and Immigration Legal Service to provide legal assistance and advice clinics  to CALD clients who have difficulty with employment law, consumer law, domestic violence and protection order applications and child protection.
  • The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services will engage with local communities to understand the diverse needs of vulnerable families from CALD backgrounds through the Child Protection Regional Service Committees, and will work with stakeholders to raise awareness of the special language needs of culturally diverse older Queenslanders in the delivery of programs and services.

These are not all new initiatives but it is good to see a reaffirmation of the Queensland Government’s commitment to these programs. Together with a re-invigorated commitment by departments to use interpreters and to support their funded services to use interpreters, this is a positive step forward. It also provides us with a basis for our ongoing discussions with departments at regional and local levels on their progress in relation to these published commitments.

You may also be interested to join or run an event during Queensland Cultural Diversity Week from 30 August to 7 September. There will be a range of exciting events held across the State, including multicultural festivals, exhibitions and workshops.

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