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.
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...
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...
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...
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...
Not-for-profit Law has updated its guide to 'The laws of advertising and your community organisation'. The resource provides practical tips to help organisations comply with the laws of advertising and marketing in Australia. Importantly, these laws apply to many fundraising activities of charities...
Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) is thrilled that more than 150,000 Queensland families will receive a rebate on their electricity bills as part of new state government policy. Following recommendations from QCOSS, the existing $330 Electricity Rebate will be extended to include...
‘Building Belonging’ is a comprehensive toolkit of early education resources which includes an ebook, song with actions, educator guide, posters and lesson plans. It is focussed on encouraging respect for cultural diversity and tackling racial prejudice in early childhood settings. The resources...
2Spirits (QuAC) and Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) have partnered up to inquire into the challenges faced by people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Sistergirl, Brotherboy, Transgender, Queer and Intersex who experience domestic and family violence. This is an anonymous survey...
The Federal Department of Social Services recently commissioned a research report to better understand volunteering and giving within culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and Indigenous communities. The research provides some insights and case stories, highlighting the valuable contribution...
The National Disability Insurance Agency have translated information about the NDIS into ten languages other than English. The resource is the My NDIS Pathway Brochure . My NDIS pathway is a guide to becoming an NDIS participant. This information helps participants to understand the path they will...


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