Australia is a hugely diverse country. Australians speak more than 200 languages other than English at home, and come from more than 240 countries of birth. Over half a million people identified as Indigenous (Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) in the 2011 Census.
Both culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and Indigenous communities in Australia are strongly involved in volunteering and giving, yet there has been little recent research into volunteering and giving in these communities. The Department of Social Services (DSS) commissioned the Cultural and Indigenous Research Centre Australia (CIRCA) to conduct research into volunteering and giving in these communities in order to support the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership. The Partnership provides advice to Government on strategies for growing philanthropy and volunteering, corporate social responsibility and partnerships between business and community organisations.
Methodology and aims
The research took place from October 2015 to February 2016 in urban, rural and remote locations across Australia. The core features of the research were:
- A literature review
- Focus groups with 96 CALD community members and 44 Indigenous community members
- Forums and focus groups with CALD and Indigenous volunteers
- Consultations with 27 representatives of peak bodies and philanthropic organisations.
The main aims of this research were to:
- Gain insight into what the term ‘volunteering’ means within these communities
- Develop a better understanding of volunteering and giving within CALD and Indigenous communities
- Understand the challenges to participating in volunteering and giving in these communities, and identify enablers to growing volunteering and giving among these communities
- Better understand how the philanthropic sector engages with CALD and Indigenous communities.