- Last updated:
- 28 Aug 2016
The Sunshine Coast has a diverse and growing multicultural population with one in every five people born overseas representing 156 countries, 45 faiths and 96 languages.
Our people and their diversity contribute to the colourful social fabric of the Coast.
The Multicultural Conversations project provides a community engagement platform for the Sunshine Coast Council and partners to understand and address barriers to participation and social inclusion within the multicultural community.
Process is supported by community development principals that aim to appreciate community capacity and leadership, raise ideas, support equitable access, foster community cohesion, increase awareness and appreciation of multiculturalism.
The project will be implemented over four phases:
- initially connecting with the multicultural sector and community members to plan the engagement process
- undertaking the sector mapping and a series of community conversations
- a multicultural forum and community showcase will be held
- the development of a regional action plan.
The 2015 Sunshine Coast Social Strategy provides a long term social direction for the region which includes a commitment to recognising the value and mix of people from culturally diverse backgrounds.
The Social Strategy highlights the value of celebrating and building the region’s cultural communities and ensuring cultural development contributes to social well-being, place, and identity and sector resilience.
The Sunshine Coast Social Strategy 2015 vision – “Our community will continue to thrive and enjoy a lifestyle that sets us apart. In all of our communities, people are included, treated with respect and opportunities are available to all.” To achieve this vision council has identified “aims” with four outcomes of: safe and healthy communities; resilient and engaged communities; culture, heritage and diversity are valued and embraced; and people and places are connected.
An identified action of the Social Strategy is for council to develop actions and partnerships which recognise, value and support our multicultural communities.
University of the Sunshine Coast www.usc.edu.au
TAFE East Coast www.tafeeastcoast.edu.au
Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland https://www.adcq.qld.gov.au
Nambour Community Centre www.nambourcc.org
Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre www.maroochync.org.au
Nambour Community Centre www.nambourcc.org
Maleny Neighbourhood Centre www.malenync.org.au
Caloundra Community Centre www.caloundracommunitycentre.org
Carers Queensland www.carersqld.asn.au
Volunteering Sunshine Coast www.volunteeringsunshinecoast.com.au
The multicultural community was invited to join a conversation with council and partners to connect, share and discover cultural diversity and exchange information.
There were three methods of engagement employed to capture as much of the Sunshine Coast multicultural story as possible.
- Online survey
- Group conversations
- Individual interviews
The online survey provided a method of collecting information from a large number of people in the community. In total 275 people responded to the survey. Group conversations took place at a selection of partner facilities and engaged with approximately 50 people from a broad diversity of backgrounds. Twenty individual interviews were conducted, building on the information already gathered to add depth and colour to the profile of the multicultural community on the Sunshine Coast. These stories have been transcribed and are presented in a booklet. Six of the participants from the individual interviews were selected to tell their stories on video.
The booklet and videos on individual stories will be available soon to view online or download. The overview video describes the journey so far.
The next phase in the community engagement is the Multicultural Conversations Forum on 26 August at the University of the Sunshine Coast. The forum will highlight a variety of showcases and presentations culminating in action planning in the afternoon.
The Multicultural Conversations program is funded by Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services through the Celebrating Multicultural Queensland Grants Program.