Department of Health

Improving health and wellbeing for Victoria's multicultural communities

Key messages

  • Victoria is Australia’s most culturally diverse state.
  • We need health services and health professionals who can deliver culturally responsive and equitable services, to ensure the whole population receives quality healthcare.
  • Several initiatives and resources support health services and health professionals to deliver services that are appropriate for and responsive to Victoria’s CALD communities.

Key messages

  • Victoria is one of the most culturally diverse societies in the world.
  • Health care must respond to people’s diverse cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious needs and preferences.
  • The department has initiatives and resources that support the design and delivery of health services that are culturally competent and responsive to Victoria’s multicultural communities.
  • The department has plans and resources that ensure health services are accessible for and inclusive of multicultural communities.

Victoria is home to one of the most culturally diverse societies in the world. It is also among the fastest growing and most diverse states in Australia.

People living in Victoria come from over 300 ancestries, speak over 290 languages and dialects, and follow more than 200 different faiths. Over 30 per cent of our population is born overseas and over 27 per cent of people in Victoria speak a language other than English at home.

It is important that every Victorian has access to health care that responds to their diverse cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and religious backgrounds, as well as their needs and preferences.

The following initiatives and resources support the department, health services, and health professionals to design and deliver services that are culturally competent, inclusive and safe for Victoria’s multicultural communities.

Multicultural health action plan 2023–27

The Department of Health multicultural health action plan 2023–27 aims to improve the health and wellbeing of multicultural communities in Victoria. It outlines areas of improvement and ways to embed cultural competency into all our services, programs and policies.

You can read or download a copy of the plan at Department of Health multicultural health action plan 2023–27.

Language services policy and accompanying guidelines

The department has a Language services policy and accompanying guidelines that respond to the needs of linguistically diverse people.

This policy outlines how the department can use language services to communicate with people from linguistically diverse backgrounds. This includes migrants, refugees, people seeking asylum and people who use sign language.

Online portal for health translations

To communicate with multicultural communities, health information has been translated into a variety of languages.

Visit the Health TranslationsExternal Link portal for more information. You search by language or topic.

Reviewed 27 March 2024


Contact details

International, interstate and mobile callers: +61 3 9096 9000

Diversity team, Department of Health

For queries about the department's Language Services Credit Line

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