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.
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Applications are closing soon for the 2017-18 Celebrating Multicultural Queensland Events Grants. If you are a not‑for‑profit or charitable organisation and are planning to host an event in 2018 that will celebrate and promote intercultural connections, you have until 29 August 2017 to apply for...
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Queensland Multicultural Month, the state’s largest multicultural celebration, is being held during August 2017. Queensland is a multicultural success story and the month presents an opportunity to showcase and celebrate our unique diversity and its benefits. People from across the state will join...
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The Celebrating Multicultural Queensland Grants Program funds initiatives that celebrate and promote Queensland’s multicultural identity, increase community awareness of benefits of multiculturalism, foster community cohesion, and support equal access to opportunities by people from diverse...
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The Queensland Multicultural Awards recognise the valuable contributions of Queenslanders who support and promote a united, harmonious and inclusive Queensland community. The awards are a highlight of Queensland Multicultural Month. This year’s theme is Creating Welcome, Building Opportunity and...
The Cultural and Linguistic Diversity program of Carers Queensland delivers training and awareness on CALD specific issues to service providers to become more culturally aware employees. Working with people with disability and their carers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (...
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Join ECCQ for breakfast at Parliament House to hear Honourable Minister Grace Grace MP discuss the government's committment to multiculturalism. The Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs wants to find out what the Queensland...
Media Statement Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence The Honourable Shannon Fentiman Financial assistance is now available for south-east Queensland’s not-for-profit organisations that have been affected...
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The Queensland Multicultural Awards recognise the valuable contributions of Queenslanders who support and promote a united, harmonious and inclusive Queensland community. It is time to nominate an individual or organisation that does outstanding work or volunteering in Queensland. In 2017 the...
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Queensland Government media release Nominations for the 2017 Queensland Reconciliation Awards are now open. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the awards recognised businesses, community organisations, educational institutions and partnerships that had strived for unity and reconciliation. “This...
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A joint QCOSS and PeakCare one-day workshop will explore the many aspects of cultural inclusion in a community service setting. At the end of the day attendees will have a better understanding of the strengths of culturally diverse communities and how to appropriately include people from different...

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