Supporting multicultural communities

Services and support are available for culturally diverse communities in Queensland.

Our translating and interpreting commitment

All Queensland Government agencies are required to provide and pay for qualified interpreting services for customers who are hearing impaired or have difficulties communicating in English. This is outlined in the Queensland Language Services Policy, and refusing to provide these services may be considered discrimination under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991.

Clients should never pay for an interpreter when accessing our services or services funded by us.

Each agency is responsible for arranging and paying for the interpreter. It is also the agency’s responsibility to incorporate provision for meeting language services needs with funded organisations. Please phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68) to find out more about interpreting and translating services when dealing with a Queensland Government agency or service.

Independent translating or interpreting needs

If you need help with translation for services not related to the Queensland Government, please contact the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) on 131 450 (24 hours, 7 days).

Visit their contact us page to find details for other services such as phone interpreter bookings, interpreter liaison and on-site interpreting.

Learning English will help you get the most out of your time in Australia. Whether you want to study, live or travel here, you will need English to:

  • interact with others in everyday life
  • learn and participate in school, vocational training and university
  • improve your job and career opportunities.

Queensland English language courses are designed to meet your needs and level of English proficiency.

Find out more about the types of English courses available, find a language school near you or learn about the Adult Migrant English Program.

Find out how you can get financial support, including emergency financial support at Centrelink.

If you are in financial crisis, you may also be eligible for the Emergency Relief Program which provides financial and/or material support such as food vouchers, food parcels and third-party payments for vulnerable Queenslanders.

Community groups help people get together for a common purpose or to share an interest. The group may provide support for its members or for others in their local community. Find a community group near you to suit your needs.

We also fund more than 100 neighbourhood and community centres which provide friendly, localised access to child, family and community services. Centres are located in rural, remote and urban communities throughout Queensland.

Are you looking for a culturally and linguistically diverse community organisation? Search our online Queensland Multicultural Resource Directory, which lists organisations that offer information, advice, support and networking opportunities, including:

  • community, non-government and government organisations and agencies
  • after-hours cultural schools
  • religious organisations
  • migrant service organisations
  • multicultural media outlets
  • consuls
  • bilateral business associations
  • interstate multicultural offices.

You can also find support from:

If you would like to get more involved in your community, attend one of the culturally diverse events being held in Queensland.

We’ve been working with Surf Live Saving Queensland to help reduce beach fatalities and injuries among Queensland’s migrant and refugee populations. The On the same wave program provides beach and water safety education to Queenslanders of all backgrounds in a number of languages.

Surf Life Saving Australia provides a free Beachsafe app which allows users to obtain real-time beach safety information and conditions for over 12,000 Australian beaches.

On the Beachsafe website you can also watch a video that shares Surf Life Saving’s top 5 tips for visiting an Australian beach.