Rethinking Communication and Engagement with CALD Communities

Thursday, 7 March 2024 | 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM AEDT | Online

Training Overview

Connect, Communicate and Build Meaningful Partnerships with Diverse Communities

Australia’s multicultural landscape is rapidly changing, with 27.6% of the population born overseas, marking a 26.3% increase since 2016. In the next decade, shifting demographics will impact education, housing, and local government planning. As of 2017, 45% of Australians, totaling 10.6 million, were born overseas (26%) or had at least one parent born overseas (19%). The 2021 census underscores the trend towards greater multiculturalism.

These demographic shifts are reshaping government policies, service delivery, engagement, and communication strategies. CALD communities are now a vital consideration in stakeholder engagement. The public sector has made progress, driven in part by the lessons of the pandemic, but further improvements are needed to meet the needs of CALD communities.

This course equips Communication and Stakeholder Engagement specialists to better connect with diverse and underrepresented communities. It emphasizes empathy, trust, and credibility, offering insights into CALD community diversity and how to tailor messages for positive 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

CALD and 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

Understanding CALD

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

Engaging with CALD Communities

  • Effectively engaging with members of various CALD communities and building trust and confidence 
    • Understanding the context; leading with influence and negotiation
    • Framing the gaps and shortcomings in your current engagement and outreach strategy
    • Exploring alternative communication channels and platforms, i.e. community radio, community support groups
    • Avoiding the traps of generalisation and assumptions
  • Building insights to inform your engagement strategy
    • Identifying key stakeholders
    • Creating and building Partnerships
    • 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 be 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
    • Exploring community radio to newsletters
    • The importance of community leaders and strategies to build partnerships
    • Key factors and nuances to consider 
  • Tailoring messages to cater to community needs 
    • Communicating with empathy and influence
    • How to ensure that your messages get across in a timely
    • What to do when things go wrong or the outcome is not
      what is expected

Connecting with Rural and Remote Communities

  • Reaching out and engaging with rural and remote communities
    • Understanding rural and remote communities
    • Identifying the best channels, messages and strategies to connect
    • How to build trust and credibility
    • Volunteering – engaging and keeping them involved
  • 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. 
  • Group presentations and peer review of engagement strategy and plan


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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