Welcoming Cities Standard 3.0

Setting the National Standard for cultural diversity and inclusion policy and practice in Local Government.


Supporting local councils to develop and benchmark leading policy and practice.

The Welcoming Cities Standard (The Standard) is a central element of the Welcoming Cities network. The Standard establishes the framework for local councils to:

  • benchmark their cultural diversity and inclusion policies and practices across the organisation;
  • identify where and how further efforts could be directed; and,
  • assess progress over time.

The Standard applies to all local councils in Australia. This includes cities, shires, towns, or municipalities. Councils can access and progress through the Standard according to their capacity and resources. We describe these levels (from lowest to highest) as Established, Advanced, Excelling, and Mentoring.

The extent to which local councils measure their activity against the Standard will be based on their understanding of their community’s needs. It is noted that local councils are already addressing elements of the Standard. The Standard validates existing efforts and recognises the connections to fostering cultural diversity and inclusion.


Accreditation with Welcoming Cities benchmarks councils across the six categories of the Standard. Councils provide evidence of active policies and programs. Accreditation through Welcoming Cities has a range of benefits, including:

  • Increasing the impact of council initiatives for the whole community
  • Providing a mechanism to plan for improvement and change
  • A positive and welcoming reputation; and,
  • Opportunities for shared learning

Accreditation is an optional undertaking for members of the Welcoming Cities network who want to better understand where their council is positioned in regard to social cohesion and economic participation across the community.

In order to ensure the programs and policies demonstrated in the assessment stay current, accreditation must be renewed every three years.


Previous Welcoming Cities Standard

The Welcoming Cities Standard is regularly updated to ensure it is up to date with norms and community expectations. Thus the current Welcoming Cities Standard was released in 2024, building on the work of The Welcoming Cities Standard 2.0 (2018-2024). Learn how the Welcoming Cities Standard was created