What does culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) mean?

    According to Multicultural NSW, the CALD group includes culturally, religiously and linguistically diverse people. This includes people of different cultural backgrounds, people born overseas, people of different religions or faith, and people who speak a language other than English.

    Is Lake Macquarie culturally and linguistically diverse?

    Yes! Lake Macquarie is home to about 20,000 people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021 Census data. 

    This is about 10 per cent of our city’s population. 

    We all benefit from the unique perspectives, stories and culture our CALD community share. 

    What is Council’s role in supporting culturally and linguistically diverse people in Lake Macquarie?

    Lake Macquarie City Council has a long-held role in support our culturally and linguistically diverse community. 

    In May 2015, Council adopted its Statement in Favour of a Culturally and Religiously Diverse Lake Macquarie City. The statement commits to:

    • maintaining our city as a culturally diverse, inclusive community united by a commitment to democratic principles and fairness
    • the right of all our residents to enjoy equal rights and be treated with equal respect. 

    The statement also recognises that “multiculturalism is in the interest of all our citizens and expresses our sense of fairness and inclusion”. 

    Council’s commitment to diversity continues today and is reflected in our current Culturally Diverse Lake Mac Plan 2021-2024.

    What has the 2021-2024 Culturally Diverse Lake Mac Plan achieved?

    There are many successes to celebrate from our 2021-2024 Culturally Diverse Lake Mac Plan:

    • We partnered with Settlement Services International to provide refugees with learn to swim lessons and Lake Mac Swim Centres. 
    • We collaborated with the Greater Newcastle Multicultural Action Group to explore barriers to employment and education for our multicultural community and identify actions to increase employment. 
    • We used a $400,000 grant from Multicultural NSW to deliver the Living Together Festival over two years and established a Living Smart Festival planning group with CALD community representatives. 
    • In June this year, we hosted our first annual Welcome to Lake Mac evening, which invited new Lake Macquarie residents to get to know their neighbours and learn about Council services. New residents from as far afield as Canada, Hong Kong and the UK attended the event. 
    • We have improved accessibility on Council’s website, with translation options added to our online engagement platform, Shape Lake Mac, to make it easier for our CALD community to get involved in future planning for our city. 
    • Council staff are supported in accessing translating and interpreting services when engaging with our community.