Supporting multicultural communities
Services and support are available for culturally diverse communities in Queensland. On this page you will find information about:
- visiting, studying and working in Australia
- finding a community group and cultural events
- water safety
- improving your English language skills
- translating and interpreting services
- finding volunteering opportunities
- getting financial assistance.
Find out about:
If you find that employers do not recognise your overseas skills and qualifications you can apply for skills recognition to have your qualifications formally assessed and recognised. Find out more about skills recognition if you are living in Queensland, or skills recognition for migration purposes if you are not living in Queensland and want to work in Australia.
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. There are centres 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
- bilateral business associations
- interstate multicultural offices.
You can also find support from the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (Australia) which represents the rights and interests of young migrants and refugees in Australia and the Community Action for a Multicultural Society (CAMS) program, which aims to improve access and equity for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
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 growing migrant and refugee populations. The On the same wave initiative provides surf safety education to Queenslanders of all backgrounds in their primary language.
A series of fact sheets has been developed in more than 20 international languages. Each fact sheet highlights the importance of swimming between the red and yellow flags and general beach signage information.
Surf Life Saving Australia also provides the free Beachsafe app, available in 72 languages, which allows users to obtain real-time beach safety information and conditions for over 12,000 Australian beaches.
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.
The Queensland Government's 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 (Queensland) 1991.
Clients should never pay for an interpreter when accessing Queensland Government services or services funded by the Queensland Government.
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 unrelated to the Queensland Government, contact the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National).
TIS is an interpreting service for people who do not speak English and for agencies and businesses that need to communicate with their non-English speaking clients.
The TIS National immediate phone interpreting service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year for the cost of a local call for any person or organisation in Australia who needs an interpreter. Phone 131 450 to set up a personal account with TIS National.
Read the Frequently Asked Questions and find answers to some common questions in your own language.
Find out how you can contribute to the community and learn new skills by volunteering in Queensland.
Find out how you can get financial support, including emergency financial support at Centrelink.