Multicultural communities

Multicultural communities

What we do

To foster a vibrant, diverse and inclusive community, the City of Sydney offers a variety of multicultural programs and initiatives.

We conduct research to identify emerging community needs and inform our policy development. We also promote cultural awareness through festivals and events such as Living in Harmony.

Many of our community services have specific multicultural programs and services. Our library network has several community language collections.

We also develop resources and partner with other organisations to make sure multicultural communities in the local area stay informed about City of Sydney services.

Our approach

The ways in which we support multicultural communities are set out in our strategy, which you can download below. The strategy has 6 key objectives:

  1. Celebrate and value diversity
  2. Participation and access
  3. Responsive services and support
  4. An inclusive Council
  5. Leadership and advocacy
  6. Sustain the global city.

The Cultural Diversity Strategy 2008-2011 has also been translated into Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Russian and Thai.

Projects and initiatives

The City works on a variety of projects and initiatives to assist people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. The City also conducts research (working with other organisations) to identify the potential needs of growing CALD communities in the local area. Examples are summarised below.

Connect Sydney

The ongoing Connect Sydney project offers free governance training to key members of CALD community organisations. The aim of the project is to help such organisations operate sustainably and effectively.

Growing the Family Tree

Working in partnership with the Ethic Communities' Council of NSW and Relationships Australia, the City hosted a forum to explore the issues around intergenerational conflict in multicultural families.

The forum, held in May 2012, identified issues around cultural identity and conflict, including those summarised below.

  • Conflict can arise between parents and their children over cultural identity in a new environment
  • Adapting to a new environment places family relationships under pressure
  • While navigating a new culture the roles of parents and children can change
  • Institutional racism impacts family relationships
  • There is a lack of culturally appropriate services for families.

You can download the full summary and read the forum's recommendations.


The City of Sydney recently worked on two research projects to explore the needs of emerging CALD communities.

Indonesian community participation

The Indonesian community in Sydney was growing rapidly but little was known about the issues it was facing. Working with the May Murray Neighbourhood Centre we set about profiling this community to identify its needs. You can download the project report.

Korean needs assessment report

The local Korean community faces various challenges living, staying and running businesses in central Sydney. We profiled and identified these needs in a research project, which was run in partnership with the City of Sydney, the Korean Women's Association and supported by 11 Korean organisations. You can download the project report.

Support for international students

Sydney is a temporary home to a significant number of international students. In 2008, the City undertook research into the experiences of international students and later produced resources to help people who come from overseas to study. You can download the research report.

Refugees and asylum seekers

The City is proud to be a refugee welcome zone and supports a number of local organisations and projects which help refugees and asylum seekers.

Racism. It stops with me.

Our city is home to diverse communities and we are proud to support the 'Racism. It stops with me' campaign.

What's in Your Name?

We asked young people to share the stories behind their names. We encouraged them to ask their families or carers where their name originated, and how it reflects their identity, religion, culture, family or heritage.

We received more than 120 submissions and selected 40 for this publication. The stories show the great richness of our young peoples’ experiences. You can download the booklet.

Library resources and services

You can find books and magazines in many different languages at the City of Sydney Library network. Joining is free if you live in NSW.

Our libraries hold items in the following languages: Chinese (中文), Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia), Japanese (日本語), Korean (한국어), Russian (Pусский), Thai (ไทย),  Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt).

A variety of computer classes in community languages are held at our libraries. Classes include computer basics, internet for beginners as well as Facebook and Twitter help. Look for a course online.

For ages up to 5 years old, Chinese rhymetime and biligual storytime is a fun session of storytelling, rhymes and craft activities in Mandarin and English.

Tools and other resources

Please visit our multilingual community resources page to view materials available.


Susana Ng
Senior Community Programs Officer
02 9265 933302 9246 7874


Harmony Day

Last updated: Monday, 9 March 2020