Building inclusive partnerships with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities

Young, Celeste ORCID: 0000-0003-2744-064X and Ooi, Daniel ORCID: 0000-0002-6246-4148 (2021) Building inclusive partnerships with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. Project Report. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, Melbourne, Australia.


Partnerships with CALD communities are important for emergency management organisations (EMOs) for the following reasons: 1. Improved community access and safety: The long-term development of CALD partnerships can assist in understanding how to better serve the needs of these communities. 2. Innovation: Bringing together parts of the community to address common goals in preparation for, and in response to, emergencies through inclusive decision-making processes, can result in the development of enhanced and innovative solutions. 3. Trust: Long-term partnerships with CALD communities are necessary for building trust. This is vital for success, because trust enables participation (as residents, volunteers, or workers) and is key to effective communication (see Cormick, 2018). 4. Increased ability to achieve desired outcomes: Engagement with CALD communities may provide opportunities for more effective emergency management solutions (for the benefits of diversity and inclusion [D&]), see Young, et al., 2018). This can be achieved through understanding values related to safety, participation, and authority, and the diverse ways in which communities solve problems. 5. Knowledge and capabilities: CALD community organisations may have experience and local knowledge about how to organise and engage their own community. This can include an understanding of values, community structures and the pathways for communication. For example, during Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdown, the local chapter of the United Sikhs organisation utilised their already existing networks to provide food services for those at risk, partnering with diverse groups such as Let’s Feed, Rehmat Sandhu Foundation, UMEED and the Uniting Church Wyndham. 6. Reduced conflict: An awareness of, and partnership with, local CALD community organisations can help to navigate divisions between Anglo-Australian and CALD communities, and the sometimes deeply entrenched differences within CALD communities themselves. 7. Social benefits: By creating partnerships with CALD communities, there is empowerment of the community and stronger relational capacity, as well as ripple effects stemming from investing in these relationships that can be of later (and often unanticipated) benefit to emergency service organisations in the future. (See Case Study 2.) Strength-based (rather than deficit-based) community development can reduce cultural barriers and build capability by drawing on what already exists within CALD communities. For example, there may be pre-existing support networks for non-English speakers in the community. These are often seen as trusted sources of information in communities through which communications can be relayed without the need for additional translation services. The following case studies and list of considerations for engaging with CALD communities build on earlier approaches, such as those outlined in the Guidelines for Emergency Management in CALD Communities (Australian Institute Disaster Resilience [AIDR], 2007), and are also aligned with the inclusive principles outlined in the Diversity and inclusion framework for emergency management policy and practice (Young, C., and Jones, R N., 2020) and previous research by this project. They focus on utilising the knowledge and capabilities of these communities. They also explore the role of organisations and networks as inclusive partners, in the co-generation of solutions that are inclusive, and go beyond communication or consultation to engagement and participation. Report no. 652

Item type Monograph (Project Report)
Edition 1st
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3505 Human resources and industrial relations
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords barriers to inclusion, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, partnerships, emergency services practitioners, Australia
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