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cultural awareness

Today, Australia is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. At the time of the latest Census, over one quarter of the Australian population (26%) had been born overseas, and 46% of the population had at least one parent who was born overseas. In 2013, overseas migration made up 60% of Australia’s population growth. While it may not be possible to be aware of the cultural norms and practices of every cultural group, YRSDS OSH Program are aware that the use of body language, eye contact and titles of address may differ for service users from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Where possible, YRSDS OSH Program always strive to familiarise ourselves with the cultural norms and practices of our service users in order to understand how these may impact on our service delivery, and allow us to demonstrate respect for that person’s beliefs, traditions and cultural identity.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires that the nationality and cultural identity of persons with disability must be respected at all times. YRSDS OSH Program acknowledges and understands the importance of providing translation and interpreting services to service users from linguistically diverse backgrounds. YRSDS OSH Program also recognise the importance of understanding and respecting the customs, beliefs and practices of service users from diverse backgrounds, and reflecting on our own professional practice to improve cultural awareness and cultural competency.

Although YRSDS OSH Program acknowledge that it is important and useful to build an awareness of our service users’ cultural norms and practices, we also acknowledge the importance of remembering that regardless of ethnicity, no two service users are the same. For this reason, we will always be guided by the preferences of the individual when establishing a foundation for respectful communication.

If you wish to discuss this further or to provide feedback regarding the YRSDS OSH Program please do so via the link below.


YRSDS OSH Program Management have completed this Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awareness training which provides a fascinating look at the history and cultural values, beliefs and practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. If any staff are interested in completing this training please contact Program Management.

YRSDS OSH Program staff are also encouraged to complete the many free Cultural Awareness courses (also completed by program management) available through the Department of Education (eLearning), please speak to program management if you require assistance in accessing these modules. 


Person-Centred Practice Across Cultures is a series of resources focusing on the crucial importance of cultural awareness and sensitivity in disability support and service delivery.

At this link you will find 14 workbooks to assist you to be sensitive to and maximise cultural and linguistic diversity in your work.


They cover issues such as choice and control for CALD customers, attracting people, engaging with local communities, bilingual workers and interpreters, and the business case for culturally-sensitive service delivery.


The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (the Charter) sets out the basic rights, freedoms and responsibilities of all people in Victoria. The Charter contains 20 rights that reflect four basic principles of Freedom, Respect, Equality and Dignity.

View a copy of the Victorian Department of Education's Human Right's Charter Policy.


The Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Strategy is the NDIA’s public statement of commitment to working alongside people with disability from CALD backgrounds to achieve access to, and outcomes from, their NDIS Plan on an equal basis with the broader population.


Visit the link below to find out more information, available in:

Arabic, Burmese, Chin Hakka, Chinese, Easy Read English, Hindi, Karen, Khmer, Persian and Vietnamese


'Enabling choice for Aboriginal people living with disability: Promoting access and Inclusion' provides guidance on how supports and services can be made more accessible and inclusive for Aboriginal people with a disability and their families.

If you would like to receive this publication in another format, please phone 9096 7039 using the National Relay Service 13 36 77 if required, or email This document is also available at

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