More than one third of people living in Queensland were born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas. 

Approximately one in 10 Queenslanders speak a language other than English at home.

62,400 do not speak English well or do not speak English at all.

There are more than 220 different cultural backgrounds and more than 220 languages spoken in Queensland. 

This diversity presents a challenge to government and community to deliver services in ways that are relevant, meaningful and easily accessed by all Australians from whatever background. To meet this challenge, laws have been enacted in Australia to address the barriers arising from characteristics such as racial, cultural, religious and language backgrounds. At the same time, strategies have been developed to positively portray different ethnic communities and assist them to express and maintain their cultures. These initiatives demonstrate the commitment of government to promote equality in a culturally diverse society.

In 1998, the Queensland Government introduced the Multicultural Queensland Policy. The most recent Queensland Cultural Diversity Policy was launched in 2013. This policy is a blueprint for how to best manage cultural diversity to promote economic and social well-being. For more information on this policy and its application see the Multicultural Affairs Queensland website.

State and Federal government departments are now required to ensure that the programs they provide service the entire range of potential clients. This process has been called mainstreaming - ensuring that all services provided or funded by government are culturally inclusive. Departments are also using other ways such as developing multicultural sensitive funding requirements, conducting community education and awareness training for communities to access mainstream services.Organisations should respond to cultural diversity in their communities for many reasons, including:

  • Social justice obligations, as reflected in government policies and international treaties.
  • Rapidly increasing numbers of people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
  • The disproportionate number, in some cultural groups, of people experiencing social exclusion and a high need for social services, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Community aspirations such as multiculturalism and self-determination.
  • The requirements of funding bodies.
  • Requirements of legislation such as the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 and the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of a range of attributes including race, religion or political belief.
  • Maximisation of diverse skills and knowledge through community engagement.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse identified Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities as a sub-group of Australia’s population that we know very little about. To help heed the call on building knowledge and capacity in the services sector, a...
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More than 150 multicultural events to be held throughout the State in 2019 will share in $1.3 million in funding from the Palaszczuk Government’s Celebrating Multicultural Grants program. Multicultural Affairs Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the government had doubled multicultural grants funding...
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Multicultural Affairs Queensland commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to undertake research on the skills and overseas qualifications of migrants and refugees. The report Seizing the opportunity: Making the most of the skills and experience of migrants and refugees explores the economic and...
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Queensland Government media release Applications are open for grants up to $40,000 for projects that encourage people from migrant and refugee backgrounds to participate in all Queensland has to offer. Multicultural Affairs Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Celebrating Multicultural Queensland...
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The Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT) is holding an information session to provide participants with an understanding of its services including information about programs, referral pathways and client groups. Anyone who is supporting someone with a refugee...
Do you engage with language interpreters at work? What are the issues regarding interpreter access in your region? We'd love to hear from you. The Queensland Accessing Interpreters Working Group (QAIWG) is currently seeking information from services in Queensland. The short survey will help inform...
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Queensland Government media release Minister for Multicultural Affairs Stirling Hinchliffe is calling on Queenslanders to show their support for refugees on World Refugee Day (Wednesday 20 June). “World Refugee Day reminds us that right now, there are millions of refugees throughout the world...
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Queensland Government media release Projects to preserve migrant and refugee histories, document their music and promote multicultural cohesion through student sport and the arts are among 20 projects to receive a share of more than $308,000 in State Government funding. In announcing the successful...
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Time is running out to nominate for the Queensland Multicultural Awards as nominations close on 7 May 2018. The Queensland Multicultural Awards recognise the valuable contributions of Queenslanders who support and promote a united, harmonious and inclusive Queensland community. The 2018 theme is, ‘...
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Queensland Government media release Nominations are now open to recognise Queensland’s top achievers in promoting and supporting multiculturalism in the 2018 Queensland Multicultural Awards. In launching the awards at a Harmony Day breakfast at State Parliament, Multicultural Affairs Minister...

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Are you looking for support in Queensland, or trying to find a service that meets your needs? Now you can search oneplace , the service directory hosted by the Queensland Family and Child Commission. oneplace is an easily accessible directory of community services to help Queensland families to get...
IWSS works with women and children of non-English speaking background who are or have been in violent domestic situations and/or have experienced rape and/or sexual assault. Website: www.iwss.org.au Sexual Assault Program: 07 3846 5400 Domestic Violence Program: 07 3846 3490
Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT) provides flexible and culturally sensitive services to promote the health and wellbeing of people who have been tortured or who have suffered refugee related trauma prior to migrating to Australia. Multicultural...
Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland Australian Multicultural Foundation Settlement Council of Australia Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia
Legal Aid have a series of captioned recordings about Legal Aid Queensland services on their YouTube channel . Videos for community, health and education workers can be found here and include their published community legal education webinars. Upcoming webinars can be found on the Information for...
The Queensland Disaster Management website and the Get Ready website have a range of information and useful resources that can assist you to plan and prepare for an emergency. As part of your preparedness and planning for weather events, access regular weather forecast updates from the Bureau of...
Australia's justice system provides a unique and challenging environment dealing frequently with cross-cultural issues. The responsiveness of courts and tribunals to culturally and linguistically diverse communities is a measure of society's commitment to equal access to the law for all. This...
This discussion paper from the QAIWG explores whether an organisation requires an interpreter or bi-cultural support worker and the difference between the two; the standards and considerations to be made when booking an interpreter; and what to do when a credentialed interpreter is not available...
The Community Resource Handbooks were launched by Volunteering Queensland on 12 May 2015. They consolidate the knowledge gained through Volunteering Queensland's community leadership work with more than 2,000 community groups over the past fifteen years. The handbooks are aimed at small to medium...
The Directory of migrant and refugee women's groups was compiled with input from CAMS and LAMP workers across Queensland. It provides a ready network of contacts for organisations that wish to share information with women and families in culturally and linguistically diverse communities. These are...
Lisa Toh shares some tips for making your organisation accessible for multi-cultural clients and for working with interpreters. Click the image below to listen to access the podcast.
Centre for Multicultural Youth (Victorian Service) The Centre for Multicultural Youth is a not-for-profit organisation based in Victoria, providing specialist knowledge and support to young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
Caring for your community: A Career in Aged Care for Bilingual Staff (2007). A booklet to address the growing need for bilingual workers in aged care.
Queensland Health has information on many multicultural health related topics including: Impact of cultural and language on health care Key issues when communicating with people from multicultural backgrounds Where to get translated health information Includes information on the following topics...

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All service providers operating in Queensland are required to comply with the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 . The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) has jurisdiction to hear and decide complaints about contraventions of this Act. Frequently Asked Questions There are also...
There are a range of legal structures which may be suitable for Queensland not-for-profit community groups. The four main options are: an incorporated association: Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (QLD) and Associations Incorporation Regulation 1999 (QLD) a company limited by guarantee:...
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Author: 
Sharon Daley, Queensland Council of Social Service

Did you know that every minute 20 people leave everything they have behind in order to escape war, persecution or terror?

The United Nations has marked 20 June as World Refugee Day and it is on this day that, 'we commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees...

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Author: 
Dr Sonja Hood CEO of Community Hubs Australia

School readiness is a term used by educators to refer to a child’s preparedness for their first day in the classroom. If you are like me, you may be thinking it’s all about literacy and numeracy, but when I started as the CEO of Community Hubs Australia I found out it was about something much...

Dr Kamil Shah, QCOSS Senior Policy Officer
Author: 
Dr Kamil Shah, QCOSS Senior Policy Officer

A joint QCOSS and PeakCare one-day workshop will explore the many aspects of cultural inclusion in a community service setting on 15 February.

Attendees will gain a better understanding of the strengths of culturally diverse communities and how to appropriately include people from...

Author: 
Queensland Council of Social Service

The Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) recently released a new report revealing the interrelated nature of poverty and disadvantage, highlighting key areas in Queensland which need to be addressed with better targeted programs, policies and investment.

...

Embrace training for kindergarten educators
Author: 
Cherie Lamb, Queensland Council of Social Service

The EMBRACE Culture in Kindy Program aims to increase kindergarten participation for children from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds in Queensland.

Our ‘Embracing cultural diversity in...

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

The Queensland Government has just released some excellent policy documents on the Cultural Diversity Policy and the ...

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