Victoria is home to one of the most culturally diverse societies in the world, and is also among the fastest-growing and most diverse states in Australia.
The 2016 Census showed that almost one third of Victoria's population (28.4%) were born overseas. And almost half of Victoria's population (49.1%) were either born overseas or have a parent who was born overseas.
Victorians come from more than 200 countries, speak 260 languages and follow 135 different faiths.
This diversity enriches us all. It brings new ideas, extends our skills, attracts businesses and makes Victoria a great place to live and work.
Most of the overseas-born Victorians came to Australia as migrants hoping to find a better life for themselves and their children.
CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) people come from many different countries. We welcome new arrivals in Victoria.
A large number of overseas-born Victorians came to Australia as refugees from conflicts:
- the Second World War in Europe
- in Indo-China
- in the republics of the former Yugoslavia
- the Horn of Africa
- the Middle East
Visit the Victorian Multicultural Commission website for more information on our diverse population.
Each of Victoria's 79 local councils have information and services for their unique community.
Seniors Card program information videos
In 2020, the Community Participation for Seniors from Emerging Communities project aimed to build capacity and capabilities of seniors from six target communities: Sudanese (Dinka), Ethiopian (Amharic), Somali (Somali), Burmese (Karen and Chin), Filipino (Tagalog) and Afghani (Dari).
The project engaged with these groups in the Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Wyndham and Greater Dandenong local government areas (LGAs) and surrounding areas to support them to access and participate in Victorian seniors support programs and services. Read more about the project.
The project created a video on the Seniors Card program - in seven languages from these emerging communities, and one video in English. Select the language video you wish to watch:
Stories from the Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria
The ECCV spoke to inspiring seniors from our diverse communities and asked them to share their COVID-19 vaccination story.
Watch the videos on the Multicultural COVID-19 resources page.
Here are some other organisations that support the diverse needs of older Australians:
Australian - Multicultural Community Services Inc
Provide care, coordination, referrals and support services, community projects, group and respite activities, gentle exercise, support and relief for people experiencing hardship, adult education classes and assistance to migrants seeking employment. Specialising in supporting seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Approx. 50 CALD backgrounds. Visit the website of the Australian - Multicultural Community Services Inc: https://www.amcservices.org.au/
Migrant Information Centre (Eastern Melbourne)
Supporting culturally diverse people and their families, older people, people with disabilities and their carers, community groups and service providers to enhance their settlement, access services and strengthen their participation within the community: http://miceastmelb.com.au/
Migrant Resource Centre, North West Region Inc
A not-for-profit, community based organisation providing settlement support services to migrant and refugees, aged care, disability services and community based projects. Aged care services and programs include social support, friendly visiting for culturally and linguistically diverse seniors, access and support and the support for carers program: https://www.mrcnorthwest.org.au/
Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre Ltd
Spectrum delivers services to newly arrived and established people with migrant and refugee backgrounds. Working together with diverse communities and individuals to successfully settle in all aspects of community life. The range of services include settlement services, community development programs, youth services, parenting and family relationship programs, aged care and disability services: https://spectrumvic.org.au/
Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre (SMRC)
SMRC is a not-for-profit community based agency providing services to migrants and refugees living in the southern region of Melbourne. SMRC offer many programs that target family and children, youth, education, employment and community support, home and health. Through their aged and disability services programs SMRC aim to maximise the well-being of older people and people with a disability including social support programs/groups, outings, positivise ageing programs, carers support program, friendly visiting program, access and support program, centre based respite program and domestic assistance: https://smrc.org.au/
Chinese Community Social Services Centre Inc
Provide care, coordination, referrals and support services, community projects, group and respite activities, gentle exercise, support and relief for people experiencing hardship, adult education classes and assistance to migrants seeking employment. Consisting of Chinese-speaking people from various countries of birth, including China, Vietnam, Hong Kong SAR, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Taiwan, Singapore, East Timor, Burma, Macau, Laos, Thailand and India. Visit the website of the Chinese Community Social Services Centre Inc: https://www.ccssci.org.au/about-us
Australian-German Welfare Society (AGWS)
A not-for-profit member organisation supporting community members with German cultural links in Australia. Services include supporting seniors through the friendly visiting service and computer courses programs: https://germanwelfare.org.au/
Polish Community Council of Victoria Inc (PCCV)
The Polish Community Council’s aims to enrich and enhance the well-being of the Polish-Australian community within the multicultural context of the Victorian community. Services include planned activity groups, carers groups, social support, disability group and home care packages program. A list of affiliated organisations and senior citizens clubs are available on the PCCV’s website: https://www.pccv.org.au/
Dutch clubs and organisations in Australia
A list of Dutch interest groups, ranging from social clubs to cultural organisations in Victoria and other States and Territories: Dutch clubs and organisation website