What We Do

A national network supporting local councils and community leaders to leverage the ideas and innovation that come from being welcoming and inclusive.


Local councils and leaders are best placed to understand the complexity and diversity of their communities. But, they often engage in this work with limited resources and support. We support local councils and community leaders to leverage the ideas and innovation that come from being welcoming and inclusive.

The Welcoming Cities network is built around the following key elements:

Knowledge Sharing

Supporting local governments and communities to learn from each other and access resources, research, policies, and case studies.

Partnership Development

Brokering meaningful multi-sector partnerships that foster a sense of belonging and participation for all members of the community.

Standard + Accreditation

Developing and accrediting The Australian Standard for Welcoming Cities to benchmark policy and practice in cultural diversity and inclusion.

Celebrating Success

Showcasing leading practice. A National Award, focused on responses by Local Government to welcoming efforts.

Welcoming Works

Welcoming is about inclusion at all levels. It is a process by which all people can develop a sense of belonging. When people feel welcome they will participate in community life.

Welcoming is the means by which local councils, businesses and communities can embrace and integrate newcomers for greater social cohesion and economic success.

Economic Benefits

“Welcoming is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.”

Over the next 35 years, migration will drive economic and skills growth in Australia. Migrants will contribute $1,625 billion (1.6 trillion dollars) to Australia’s GDP, and 10 per cent more to the economy than existing residents. Migration will also lead to a 60 per cent increase in people with a university education.

Migration will increase:

GDP Per Capita Growth
Workforce Participation Rate
After Tax Real Wages For Low Skilled Workers
University Education

Social Benefits

Currently, 100 Australian towns and regional centres are facing significant population, and economic decline. Migration and settlement are helping to:

  • increase local populations and add to the cultural vibrancy
  • revitalise local businesses and services
  • attract increased funding and investment
“The social impact of the Karen settlement is extraordinary. Nhill, a very conservative community, has embraced and opened their minds and hearts to the Karen. This has made Nhill a better place to live.”CEO, Hindmarsh Shire Council

Overview Document

To view and download the Welcoming Cities overview, click the document image.