Culture and multiculturalism

Projects such as these which embrace the multicultural landscape of modern Australia are able to build capacity of our diverse communities, enabling them to drive positive change as well as providing support where needed.

This selection of CEGS projects has contributed toward addressing the following UN Sustainable Development Goals.

1 – No Poverty

2 – Zero Hunger

3 – Good Health and Wellbeing

4 – Quality Education

8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth

9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

10 – Reduced Inequalities

11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities

12 – Responsible Consumption and Production

16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

17 – Partnerships for the Goals

EmerCALD: Improving Emergency Communications for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities in the Illawarra

UOW project leader

Dr Robert Ogie, Associate Research Fellow (Critical Infrastructure) SMART Infrastructure Facility, Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences.

UOW partner - Associate Professor Rodney Clarke, School of Management and Marketing, Faculty of Business and Law.

Community partners

NSW State Emergency Services and Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra


Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities are often vulnerable to natural hazards due to limited English proficiency and cultural differences which sometimes distort the interpretation of emergency information.  With many Australian cities – including Wollongong – being among the most diverse in the world, it is important the measures are taken to minimise these vulnerabilities. The project team has identified several multilingual representatives from the top seven CALD groups in the Illawarra (Macedonian, Italian, Mandarin, Arabic, Spanish, Serbian, and Greek) who can be empowered to act as intermediaries or gatekeepers to facilitate message translation and engender culturally appropriate communication between their communities and emergency agencies.

This project is working towards the following UN Sustainable Development Goals nine and 11.

Migration and Belonging: An exploration through collaborative short films

UOW project leader

Dr Sukhmani Khorana.

Community partners

CuriousWorks and Settlement Services International.


Those who are newly arrived in Australia have varied experiences of belonging and inclusion.  This project has created a series of short films about newly arrived migrants or refugees who are living in the South West Sydney area, which were premiered at a community screening event on March 27th, 2019 at the UOW South West Sydney campus, as well as for two weeks during April 2019 on the Big Screen in Macquarie Mall (Liverpool City Council).  The films are currently available online.

These high quality short films raise awareness of newly arrived people's experiences of belonging and inclusion in South West Sydney. They share stories created through participatory storytelling and collaborative filmmaking workshops which worked with newly arrived migrants/refugees sourced through Settlement Services International. The teams explored concepts of belonging, social inclusion and community building.

This project is working towards the following UN Sustainable Development Goals three, four, eight, 10 and 16.

Supporting Refugee Farming Initiatives: from Muldura to Mingoola and Meroo Meadow

UOW project leader

Dr Natascha Klocker, Senior Lecturer, School of Geography and Sustainable Communities, Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities.

UOW partner - Dr Olivia Dun, Associate Research Fellow, School of Geography and Sustainable Communities, Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities.

Community partners

Great Lakes Agency for Peace and Development International, Sunraysia Local Food Future/Food Next Door, University of Newcastle and Gary and Diana Schiller, private land owners.


This project aims to broaden opportunities for refugees outside of major cities through capitalising on a successful pilot refugee farming initiative in Mildura. By extending the project to Meroo Meadow and Mingoola, this project demonstrated the farming knowledge and skills of former refugees. The project improved former refugees’ well-being, sense of belonging and broader community connections.

This project is working towards the following UN Sustainable Development Goals one, two, eight, 10, 11 and 16.

Bringing Languages Back to the Community

UOW project leader

Dr Anu Bissoonauth-Bedford, Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Inquiry, Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities..  

Community partners

Keira High School, Kiama High School, The Illawarra Grammar School and Smiths Hill High School


The Bringing Languages back to the Community project sends University students as language ambassadors out to mentor local high school students. The program promoted language sharing and helped further strengthen community links between secondary and tertiary educational institutions. This program has been further developed into a formally-recognised Language Ambassadors program run by UOWx.

This project is working towards the following UN Sustainable Development Goals four and 11.