News & Media

Engaging CALD communities

By: CFA Partnerships and Marketing

Category: People

  4.07 PM 23 March, 2017

Location: General

Views: 2287

What is CALD?

CALD stands for cultural and linguistic diversity and refers to people who identify as having a specific cultural or linguistic connection. The connection may be due to a person’s place of birth, ancestry, ethnic origin, religious beliefs or language(s) spoken at home. This includes people who identify as part of the deaf community.

Who is a CALD person?

The generally agreed upon things that define a person as CALD are:

- Speaking a language other than English at home

- A parent born overseas

- Most importantly, the individual must see themselves as being CALD.  Some people are from CALD backgrounds but don’t identify as a CALD community member.

- Ageing CALD – settled migrants with established networks and community connections

- Newly-arrived skilled migrants

- Refugees and asylum seekers – people who have experienced often traumatic departures from war-torn countries

- Unaccompanied refugee minors.

What is a CALD community?

It is important to understand that, like any community, there are different groups within CALD communities.  Some examples include:

Why engage with CALD communities?

It is increasingly recognised in the emergency management sector that the protection of life and property through fire prevention is just as important as our more traditional response roles.  To do this effectively, we must develop our understanding of and connections with diverse groups within our community. 

Research repeatedly shows that diverse and inclusive organisations and industries are higher-performers, more innovative, and adapt better to change.

Victoria’s communities are diverse, with more than 20 per cent of the population speaking a language other than English at home.

People’s lives depend on the emergency management sector being able to communicate clearly, quickly and effectively with all Victoria’s diverse communities.

The more diverse we are as a sector, the more capable we are of achieving this. 

Many of our brigades understand the importance of connecting with the diverse groups within their communities to help achieve our mission, and have done so in many creative ways. If you would like to share a story about how your brigade has successfully engaged with diverse communities, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CFA has useful online resources to support brigades working with and within diverse communities – search ‘multicultural engagement’ on Brigades Online.

This story is part of CFA's celebration of Cultural Diversity Week. Other interesting articles include

CFA proud supporter of Cultural Diversity Week

Academic research set to inspire change at CFA

Our multicultural liaison officer keeps the faith

Last Updated: 23 March 2017