The Australian Standard

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Enabling local councils to benchmark their cultural diversity and inclusion policies and practices, and assess progress over time.

 

The Australian Standard for Welcoming Cities 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 at different stages in line with their resources, capacity and desired mode of assessment. We describe these stages (from lowest to highest) as Established, Advanced, Excelling, and Mentoring.

The extent to which local councils consider and benchmark their activity against the Standard will be based on their understanding of their community’s needs and capacity. It is noted that local councils, through other obligations, are already addressing elements of the Standard. Rather than duplicate, the Standard validates existing efforts and recognises the connections to fostering cultural diversity and inclusion.

Feedback on the Public Draft has now closed (see below).
The final version is currently in development, for release in late 2017.

FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions (and answers) relating to The Australian Standard for Welcoming Cities and the broader Welcoming Cities network. These will update and be added to over time. Please contact us if you have any further questions.

No.
Standard & Accreditation is a key element of the network, however a local council or community stakeholder can participate in Knowledge Sharing, Partnership Development and Celebrating Success without engaging The Standard.
No.
Welcoming Cities is for all local councils in Australia. This includes areas, cities, towns, municipalities, regions, shires and districts. Additionally, organisations and businesses can join the Welcoming Cities network as supporters. Go to Get Involved for more information.
A local council can become a member of the Welcoming Cities network. A community stakeholder (community organisation, business, other agency) can become a supporter of the Welcoming Cities network by completing a one-page commitment form. Both members and supporters can access the key elements of the network.
There are some key steps to becoming accredited as a Welcoming City. The process broadly involves:
1. Consider Welcome: Meeting (via teleconference or in-person) to discuss the Welcoming Cities network and for us to further understand the Council’s current successes and approaches to welcoming efforts.

2. Commit to Welcome: Formal commitment from the Council to participate in the Welcoming Cities network.

3. Communicate Welcome: Profiling the Council on our website and in various case studies.

4. Plan for Welcome: Communication, planning and work with the Council around the Welcoming Cities framework and toolkit to develop a Welcoming Plan or align it to existing plans that you may have. Welcoming Plans (or similar) can include policies and practices that advance cohesion under the 7 categories of The Australian Standard for Welcoming Cities.

5. Build Welcome: Council’s can consider and benchmark their policies and practices against The Australian Standard for Welcoming Cities.

6. Sustain Welcome: If desired, Council’s can audit and accredit their policies and practices against The Australian Standard for Welcoming Cities.

All feedback can be emailed directly to feedback@welcomingcities.org.au.
All feedback that we receive is collated, carefully considered and tracked, including our application of the feedback and rationale. Much of the feedback we receive will be incorporated into the final Standard, however some feedback may be conflicting and/or go against the advice of peak bodies and/or Local Government Associations.
Australia has a unique approach to multiculturalism and settlement, and demonstrated success in building social cohesion. Regardless, we are not promoting specific terminologies or methodologies. Instead we recognise that almost everyone, regardless of how long they have been in Australia, wants to live, work and play in a welcoming and inclusive community.
No. We recognise the crucial role played by settlement service providers in the settlement process. We see this framework as a way of enhancing the cooperation between Councils and settlement providers, as well as other stakeholders, wherever that is possible.

We are in the process of applying the National Settlement Framework to the Standard and this will be evident in the final version.

The National Settlement Framework is a high level structural blueprint for Commonwealth, State and Territory, and Local Government, to work in partnership to effectively plan and deliver services that support the settlement of migrants and new arrivals in Australia. The Framework sets out focus areas for the three tiers of government to regularly engage and work together in partnership on, and to collaborate with stakeholders. Governments and stakeholders are guided by the structures and initiatives in this Framework to make planning decisions on the provision of settlement and support services and to deliver coordinated, client-centric services, informed by research and evaluation. The National Settlement Framework was developed by the Federal government in consultation with all State and Territory Governments; and the ALGA (Australian Local Government Association).

See: https://www.dss.gov.au/settlement-and-multicultural-affairs/publications/national-settlement-framework

Public Draft v1.0

Launched on 1 March 2017, The Australian Standard for Welcoming Cities (Public Draft v1.0) was open for consultation and feedback until 30 June 2017.

The development of The Standard included:

  • consideration of existing Standards developed by Intercultural Cities, Welcoming America and EuroCities
  • direct consultation with a number of local councils and local government associations
  • initial consultation with various peak bodies

Feedback

Approximately 150 submissions were received in response to the public draft of The Australian Standard for Welcoming Cities. This feedback has been considered and much of it applied in the development of the next iteration. To view and download the Feedback (please note: sources have been de-identified) click the ‘Download Feedback Tracker’ button.