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Culturally and linguistically diverse communities

Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) is a broad term that can describe the many communities and people in our region whose languages, ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, religions, health beliefs, social structures and customs differ from the majority.

A portrait photograph of Yom Maker Adeng on a green background.
Yom Maker Adeng from the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health is helping her community access culturally appropriate and responsive health care.

These differences are often not considered by our health system, which can lead to inappropriate care. Those affected can become isolated from the system and have poorer health outcomes than the broader population.

Victoria is Australia’s most culturally diverse state, and the NWMPHN region reflects this. In several local government areas, more than 40 per cent of people speak a language other than English at home.

We undertake targeted work with CALD communities to ensure health services and health professionals deliver culturally responsive and equitable services, and to address cultural and linguistic barriers to quality health care.

We also have additional dedicated programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and to support refugee and asylum seeker health.