Understanding CALD Communities

Sport organisations should be aware that when phrases such as ‘culturally and linguistically diverse’ or ‘newly arrived migrants or refugees’ are used, they don’t refer to singular or homogenous groups of people. There are over 260 languages and 130 different faiths in Victoria alone. Therefore, the suggested approach for understanding culturally and linguistically diverse communities is to:

  • Understand the local area in which your club or association located.
  • Connect with local communities through leaders and organisations.

In Victoria each Local Government Area has a different demographical profile, so it makes sense for sport organisations to work within the local community rather than aiming to be inclusive of a demographic that is not present.

For example, in the City of Hume in Melbourne’s north west, 32% of residents are from countries English is not the first language spoken. In the City of Boroondara in Melbourne’s inner east, the same figure is 24% (source: .id the population experts). The profile of countries which residents have migrated from will also differ within each local area.

Your organisation will benefit by getting to know your local community. Your contact point will be local community leaders or organisations who provide services or support in your area. The local council is often a reliable resource for understand who these groups are. Community leaders may include the leaders of local community support organisations, leaders of migrant and refugee support organisations, leaders of religious institutions, or prominent members of migrant communities. If you aim to offer opportunities to a specific group – such as newly arrive people from the same country – it is important to speak to them directly so that you understand how you can support their participation and what potential barriers they might face. This allows you to tailor your programs to meet their needs.

There are also lots of great resources available which provide research and statistics about culturally and linguistically diverse people:

  • .id the population experts is an excellent source of community profile information and has up to date data based on local government areas.
  • The Victorian Multicultural Commission provides data summaries based on the most recent 2016 census.
  • The Australian Sport Commission’s AusPlay survey provides data and information about participation trends in Australian sport.