Cultural diversity

The cultural diversity of Victorian municipalities is ever-increasing, adding great benefit and reinforcing the need for culturally-inclusive policy and services. In 2016, 52 per cent of Victorians were either born overseas, or had at least one parent born overseas.

As detailed under Diversity and Inclusion, there are many reasons for local government to support and celebrate cultural diversity. One is councils’ obligations under Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006, which protects rights related to equality, culture and religion.

MAV Statement of Commitment to Cultural Diversity

Our 2012 MAV Statement of Commitment to Cultural Diversity aims to promote and facilitate leadership across local government and strong, whole-of-council responses to cultural diversity. For decades, Victorian councils have played an important role in celebrating and supporting communities, and fostering social cohesion.

Current priorities

We will continue to:

  • Build the capacity of councils to respond to cultural diversity
  • Support council aged care service providers to meet the needs of culturally diverse clients
  • Regularly advocate on councils’ behalf to State and Commonwealth government
  • Support strategic and social planning to inform local government cultural diversity policy and service development
  • Arrange forums and workshops in response to staff and/or councillor needs
  • Develop partnerships and relationships between the local government and multicultural community sectors
  • Network with relevant peak bodies and represent the sector on relevant committees
  • Support and promote the Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network (VLGMIN).

Our current priorities include:

  • Regional settlement
  • Social cohesion, community resilience and local government responses to extremism
  • Advocating for local government’s role in citizenship ceremonies
  • advocating against the introduction of any bill similar to the Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 (now withdrawn).

Current projects

Review of MAV Cultural Diversity Statement

Since the MAV Statement of Commitment to Cultural Diversity was published in 2012 the multicultural sector has seen some significant shifts in Australia’s immigration policy, its own community development approaches and community needs. In 2018, we will work with our Multicultural Committee to publish a new, up-to-date and practical statement.

Social Cohesion in Practice Portal

We are promoting and encouraging councils to browse and contribute to our Social Cohesion in Practice Portal. It provides an overview of the work being done by Victorian councils around social cohesion, and allows councils to quickly and easily share their own policies, plans, practices, programs and projects.

Aged Care Sector Cultural Diversity Support and Development

We support the capacity of Victorian councils to run culturally inclusive Commonwealth Home Support Programs (CHSP) and Home and Community Care Programs for Young People (HACC PYP). For details, read about our work in Diversity in Community Care . In 2018, projects will include partnering with the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV) on a project to enhance connections between Access and Support Services and council aged care providers.

Submissions and briefs

We develop and form a collective local government sector view on a range of topics related to cultural diversity. These include:

To access all our cultural diversity-related submissions, visit the MAV submissions page.

Committees and reference groups

We support and host meetings of the Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network (VLGMIN) and are represented on its Executive.

We represent local government on numerous high-level advisory and reference groups, including the:

  • Victorian Planning Settlement Outcomes Committee
  • Victorian Community Engagement Network
  • Victorian Electoral Commission CALD Advisory Group
  • Welcoming Cities Advisory Committee
  • ECCV Policy Advisory Committee on Employment, Entrepreneurship, Education and Training (watching brief)
  • ECCV Statewide Access and Support Peer Network - see Diversity in Community Care.

Resources

Social Cohesion in Practice Portal

Our Social Cohesion in Practice Portal allows councils to browse the work that other Victorian councils are doing around social cohesion, and is particularly useful in planning stages.

Statistical data for Victorian communities

The City of Greater Dandenong have collaborated with the VLGA to provide statistical information about social, health and economic outcomes for all Victorian localities.

Past events

Programs and presentations from our cultural diversity events are available under Cultural Diversity Events.

Interpreting Services

The Commonwealth government's Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) provides free interpreting services to councils for many services. For information contact the Language Policy Liaison team via email or phone on 1300 575 847.

State and Commonwealth

Policies Both the Victorian and Australian government’s have policies relating to cultural diversity:

Other useful resources

Below are some documents we have developed for Victorian councils relating to cultural diversity.

Opportunities for local government

Engage with us

Multicultural eNetwork

Victorian council staff responsible for or interested in culturally inclusive services and policy development keep up to date on related matters through this eNetwork. They:

  • Receive fortnightly eNews on forums, training, grants, research, resources, legislative and Ministerial changes, Commonwealth and State policies and guides and up to date statistics
  • Can request assistance or information from other councils, and share information, successes and challenges
  • Are kept updated on Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network (VLGMIN) meetings, forums and opportunities.

Diversity in Community Care eNetwork

Victorian council staff keep up to date on diversity in aged and community care (including cultural diversity) through a specific eNetwork. For details, read about our work on Diversity in Community Care.