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Culturally and linguistically diverse communities

If you are working with CALD communities it is important to understand the community with which you are working, to consult and work with relevant organisations, and to use your networks and relevant media to promote your services or resources. This page provides some resources to assist you with doing this.

Plain language law publications

Plain language law search, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW
Find existing NSW plain language law publications in languages other than English. This database is also searchable by resource format (e.g. DVDs, factsheets) and area of law.

Legal resources for newly arrived migrants and refugees
This webpage includes several resources for providing legal information to newly arrived migrants and refugees. These include:
  • An online catalogue of plain language legal resources targeted at newly arrived migrants and refugees.
  • A flowchart setting out the Settlement process

Find legal information in community languages, Legal Information Access Centre (LIAC)
Online legal information about Centrelink decisions, family law, renting a house, domestic violence and many more legal issues is available in various community languages on the Find Legal Answers website. This section also includes information about the Legal Information Access Centre (LIAC) at the State Library of NSW in selected languages as indicated on the webpage.

Legal information factsheets and resources, Legal Aid NSW
Find existing NSW plain language law publications in languages other than English. This database is also searchable by keyword and topic.

Checklists and Guides

Working with new and emerging communities, Legal Aid NSW, 2013
This guide aims to assist organisations and their staff develop a better understanding of new and emerging communities and consequently, improve access to services and service quality for clients from these communities. The guide has been written for those delivering legally related services in government and non-government organisations, and is relevant to other areas of service provision as well. It contains factsheets providing information about
  • Communication and interaction
  • Community contacts and referrals
  • Information and refugee communities and
  • Individual factsheets containing information about people from specific countries
To access the guide online, visit the Legal Aid NSW website and select the topic culturally diverse people.

Checklist for working with CALD communities, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, 2008

Checklist for working with interpreters in legal settings, Women's Legal Service NSW, 2009

Communicating in a culturally appropriate way, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 2009
A webpage setting out some principles for appropriate communication with people who speak a language other than English.

Quick guide for working with interpreters in legal settings, Women's Legal Service NSW, 2009

Resource/Reference Guide for Sudanese people


Diversity Services, Department of Attorney General and Justice NSW

Ethnic Communities Council of NSW

Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW

NSW Community Relations Commission

You can find a listing of Migrant Resource Centres in NSW on the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW website at


Settlement Database, Department of Immigration and Citizenship
This interactive database provides statistical data on arrivals to Australia from 1996 onwards. It can be searched by year of arrival, country of birth, humanitarian status, English proficiency, and languages spoken for a range of geographical regions including state and local government area.

Local council community profiles
Most local councils produce yearly community profiles containing a range of statistical data about their area including data about CALD communities. Many are available on the web and some are published in a standardised format using software.


Community profiles, Department of Immigration and Citizenship
These profiles on the most recent Humanitarian Program arrivals provide background information on the Bhutanese, Burmese, Congolese, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Liberian, Sierra Leonean, Sudanese, Togolese and Uzbek communities.

Community Information Summaries, Department of Immigration and Citizenship
These summaries present a range of demographic and socio-economic characteristics for the first 100 countries of birth from the most recently available Census data. Topics include geographic distribution, age and sex, ancestry, language, religion, year of arrival in Australia, citizenship take-up, median income, qualifications, and employment.

Community languages online: current practice and future directions of multilingual information on Victorian Government websites, A Cunningham, et al., State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, 2007 (Vic)
Based on research into current Victorian Government practices, and consultation with service providers and ethnic communities, this report highlights the need for improved awareness by CALD communities of available resources, and improved skills in multilingual web publishing in Victoria.

One NESB size does not fit all! What makes a health promotion campaign "culturally appropriate"? Margo Moore, Di Lane, Anne Connolly, Synergy Autumn 2002
This paper describes a culturally appropriate campaign to raise awareness and change attitudes about domestic violence in Vietnamese, Tongan, Arabic and Chinese communities in NSW. The approaches for each community and the evaluation of the campaign are discussed.

Just Search, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW
Search Just Search for additional research on the legal needs of CALD communities.


Ethnic media, Community Relations Commission
Contact details for ethnic media in NSW for radio, television and print.

Interpreting and Translating
  • Use accredited translators. Some legal documents may require advanced translator qualifications. A list of accredited translators is available from the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).
  • Test translations with the intended audience.
  • Include an English translation of the title, language of publication and publishing and supplier details and a brief description of the resource in English.


NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service
NSW Multicultural Health produces multilingual health resources and guidelines, and undertakes research and social marketing campaigns targeting people from cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD).