Rethinking Communication and Engagement with CALD Communities

Thursday, 23 November 2023 | 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM AEDT | Online

Training Overview

Connect, Communicate and Build Meaningful Partnerships with Diverse Communities

Multicultural Australia grows. 27.6% of Australians are foreign-born, according to the latest census. 6.1 million, up 26.3% from 2016. Over the next decade, Australian ancestry will change due to country of birth data changes. This will affect schooling, housing, and local government planning.

45% of Australians (10.6 million) were born overseas (26% or 6.2 million) or had one or both parents born overseas (19% or 4.5 million) (2017). According to the 2021 census, Australia will become more multicultural.

Demographics will affect government policy, service delivery, engagement, and communication. Culturally and linguistically diverse communities are no longer ad-hoc. Government agencies and organisations are including CALD groups in stakeholder engagement strategies. Public sector progress in this area is significant (brought about by glaring gaps in pandemic response). However, CALD communities still need improvement.

This course helps Communication and Stakeholder Engagement specialists rethink their messaging and channels for diverse and hard-to-reach communities. To communicate with empathy and build trust and credibility with underrepresented groups. You’ll learn about CALD communities’ diversity, how to tailor nuanced and empathetic messages, and how to use non-conventional channels to improve CALD outcomes.

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for Leads, Managers, Directors, Co-ordinators, Specialists, in charge of transforming all three levels of government including:

CALD, Community and
Stakeholder Engagement

Community Outreach

External and
Digital Communications

Learning Outcomes

Understand what it means to be CALD: Historical background; the complexities and diversity 

Discuss strategies to overcome the challenges of connecting with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities

Build insights on the CALD community to inform better engagement and outreach decisions 

Tailoring nuanced messaged that resonate with diverse audiences

Meet Your Facilitator

Benazir Suraiya 
Communications and Engagement Strategist 

Benazir is an innovative leader with over 13 years of global experience across the full spectrum of public relations, corporate communications and stakeholder engagement. She led, initiated and contributed to high-level strategic communication and engagement services for several complex projects for state and local government, education and not-for-profit sectors and has made a positive impact on the lives of diverse communities including culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and First Nations people. 

As an advocate for cultural diversity and inclusion, Benazir believes that communications and community engagement are central to building trust and confidence amongst multicultural communities to achieve sustainable outcomes, equitable decision-making processes and improve a community’s liveability. She has driven robust engagement activities for both New South Wales and Victorian Governments where she proactively and positively engaged with vulnerable and culturally sensitive communities. 

Benazir is also a contributor to Victorian Government’s Guidebook: How to Engage with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Communities. She is an active member of IAP2 Australasia and formerly chaired the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) Victorian Division as a Councillor for two consecutive years. 

Key Sessions

Day 1: Module 1Day 1: Module 2Day 1: Module 3Day 1: Module 4

Introduction and Challenges

  • What is CALD and what does it mean for government? 
    • CALD: A brief historical background
    • Defining CALD in the context of Government: Who does include and why
    • Understanding the complexities and diversities within the community
    • Evaluating the shortcomings of the term alternatives to CALD
  • The common challenges of connecting with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities? 
    • Understanding the diversity within CALD communities
    • Discussing and categorising he key challenges: From language barriers to literacy; assumptions and lack of awareness; trust and credibility
    • Investigating the why: Where do the problem stem from 

Building an Engagement Strategy

  • Effectively engaging with members of various CALD communities and building trust and confidence 
    • Framing the gaps and shortcomings in your current engagement and outreach strategy
    • Exploring alterative communication channels and platforms; i.e. community radio, community support groups
    • Avoiding the traps of generalisation and assumptions
  • Building Insights: collecting data and statistics to inform your engagement strategy 
    • Identifying key stakeholders
    • Creating and building Partnerships
    • Reaching out to and connecting with community leaders 
  • Breakout Group Activity:  Re-evaluating How you Engage with CALD Communities 
    You will split into groups to work on a hypothetical and tasked with building an engagement strategy applying the lessons learned during today’s session. 

Channels and Messaging 

  • Investigating communication channels that are appropriate to and accessible by CALD communities Evaluating the pros and cons of various research and discovery methods
    • Thinking outside the box: from community radio to newsletters
    • The importance of community leaders and strategies to build partnerships
    • Key factors and nuances to consider 
  • Contextualising messages: Tailoring messages to cater to community needs 
    • Putting yourself in your audience’s shoes
    • Communicating with empathy
    • How to ensure that your messages get across
    • What to do when things go wrong 

Connecting with hard-to-reach Communities 

  • Reaching out and engaging with Rural and Remote (hard-to-reach) Communities 
    • Understanding rural and remote communities
    • Identifying the best channels, messages and strategies to connect
    • How to build trust and credibility 
  • Breakout Group Activity: Apply the lesson learned in this session to tailor a message and choose a channel to communicate with hard-to-reach communities. 


Final Price


per person + GST

Customised in-house options available for teams

Interested in any of our online trainings?

You can also choose to have them delivered in house. We will work closely with our inspiring session facilitators to tailor the content around the key development areas your team are prioritising, shape the learning outcomes around your core departmental challenges and make the most of your L&D and upskilling budget.

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