Diversity and inclusion

Sydney has long been a beacon of acceptance for people from Australia and all around the world.

Why this is important to us

We’re proud to be one of the country's most diverse cities.

Sydney has long been a beacon of acceptance for people from Australia and all around the world. Some visit for a while and others stay for good. People from different walks of life come here to work, live and play and we’re committed to encouraging the diverse communities in our city.

We endeavour to make the physical components of the city accessible and provide social and economic opportunities for people with disability to enable full participation in city life.

Our people and community

  • We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation as the traditional custodians of this place we now call Sydney. We recognise that, by acknowledging our shared past, we are laying the groundwork for our future which embraces all Australians, based on mutual respect and shared responsibility for our land.
  • Multicultural communities help develop our policies and promote cultural awareness through festivals and other events during the year.
  • All members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) communities who live, work or play in the city
  • A variety of services and information for residents, workers and visitors with disability are provided.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations and language groups make up the land we call Australia. Each nation speaks a different language with its own distinct dialect and cultural beliefs.

In 2008, we appointed our first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel made of community and industry professionals, youth and Elders. The panel provides advice on matters of importance to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Multicultural services

We have many different multicultural programs and services.

Research identifies emerging community needs and informs our policy development. We also promote cultural awareness through festivals and events such as Living in Harmony.

Our libraries also hold titles for loan in several different languages.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer services

We applauded the passing of the marriage equality bill on 7 December 2017.

In October 2016, we resolved to reaffirm our support for marriage equality for all Australians, oppose the federal government’s proposed plebiscite on same-sex marriage and help the work of marriage equality campaigners.

Prior to the launch of the NSW relationships register in 2010, we facilitated a relationships declaration program.

Our dedicated LGBTIQ project coordinator helps members of the community with City of Sydney matters and is consulted during policy development.

We also work with a range of external organisations, such as the state government and not-for-profit organisations, to bring services to the LGBTIQ communities. We work closely with ACON and the NSW Police Force.

Sponsorship grants are available for LGBTIQ organisations.

People with disability

One of our major goals is to be as inclusive and accessible as possible.

Our Inclusion (Disability) Advisory Panel was established to provide further advice about improving inclusion for people with disability.

We support organisations that provide services to people with disability, older adults and their carers operating in our area.

Sector support and development activities include:

  • providing regular information to local organisations with updates from the disability sector, training opportunities, and information about relevant local programs and services
  • interagency meetings
  • the opportunity to promote inclusive activities, events and programs for people with disability, on a dedicated disability-inclusive events page on the What’s On website.

We convene the City and Eastern Sydney Ageing and Disability Interagency with Waverley Council and Randwick Council. Meetings are held every 2nd month from February to October.

The interagency provides a forum for organisations to collaborate, exchange information, ideas and new innovative service approaches that are responsive to the needs of the community. This meeting is a great opportunity for organisations to learn more information about changes and reforms in the ageing and disability services sector and to network with other providers.

Useful resources

Interagency terms of referenceDOCX · 23.85 KB · Last modified
What's in Your Name?PDF · 3.11 MB · Last modified
Growing the Family Tree forum reportPDF · 2.31 MB · Last modified
International students needs assessmentPDF · 300.67 KB · Last modified
Indonesian community research project reportPDF · 1.2 MB · Last modified
Korean community needs assessment reportPDF · 1.14 MB · Last modified
Cultural Diversity Strategy 2008 to 2011 - EnglishPDF · 422.62 KB · Last modified
Cultural Diversity Strategy 2008 to 2011 - Chinese / 中文PDF · 621.8 KB · Last modified
Cultural Diversity Strategy 2008 to 2011 - Korean / 한국어PDF · 596.24 KB · Last modified
Cultural Diversity Strategy 2008 to 2011 - Russian / PусскийPDF · 317.5 KB · Last modified
Cultural Diversity Strategy 2008 to 2011 - Thai / ไทยiPDF · 365.72 KB · Last modified

Welcoming asylum seekers and refugees

Our city is a culturally diverse area that has become home to refugees and asylum seekers from around the world.

The United Nations describes refugees as people who are outside their country of nationality and have a well-founded fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a social group or political opinion.

An asylum seeker is a person who has sought protection as a refugee, but whose claim for refugee status has not yet been assessed. Asylum seekers in Australia have no guaranteed right to income, health care or settlement services while they wait for their claim to be determined.

We have been an official refugee welcome zone since 2005, when Council declared its commitment to welcoming refugees and asylum seekers into our community. This was also a commitment to upholding human rights, demonstrating compassion and enhancing cultural and religious diversity in our community.