This material is also available in a PDF format: Cultural diversity: Resources for families and educators 

Where can I go for further information?

beyondblue is a national, independent, non-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related substance-use disorders in Australia. Their mission is to provide a national focus and community leadership to increase the capacity of the broader Australian community to prevent depression and respond effectively. Information on mental health topics is available at www.beyondblue.org.au in the ‘Get information’ tab. beyondblue has partnered with Multicultural Mental Health Australia to provide information about depression in a number of languages. This information has been translated by accredited translators with input from mental health professionals and consumers. See www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx?link_id=102.

The Australian Psychological Society is the largest professional association for psychologists in Australia. It spreads the message that psychologists make a difference to people’s lives, through improving their health and wellbeing and increasing scientific knowledge. Tip sheets on a range of topics related to diversity and children’s mental health are available at www.psychology.org.au.See Tip Sheets in the Publications and Products tab for details. Examples of tip sheets that are relevant include ‘Moving beyond racism’ and ‘Talking with children about violence and injustice’.

The Inclusion and Professional Support Program provides high-quality professional development and inclusion support to Australian Government-approved childcare service providers, regardless of geographic location. 

Inclusion Support helps childcare services to include children with additional needs, especially: children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including children from a refugee or humanitarian intervention background, children with ongoing high support needs, including children with a disability and Indigenous children.

Professional Support provides professional development and support to providers to enable them to build the skills of their staff to improve the quality of care provided. This includes building the skills and knowledge of educators, supporting the implementation of the National Quality Framework and providing professional development. Information is available at www.deewr.gov.au/inclusion-and-professional-support-program.

The Action on Disability within Ethnic Communities provides support and information for children and people with disabilities and their families from culturally diverse communities. The organisation provides a lot of information and resources in many different languages. For more information see www.adec.org.au.

The Australian Childhood Foundation offers parenting information in a range of community languages. Both text and audio versions are available from www.kidscount.com.au.

Foundation House develops publications and resources to enhance the understanding of the needs of people from refugee backgrounds among health and other professionals, government and the wider community. For more information see www.foundationhouse.org.au.

The Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship provides information about settling in Australia. Beginning a life in Australia is a comprehensive booklet that explains the types of settlement services available. It is available for each state and territory in 24 community languages. Available from www.immi.gov.au/living-in-australia/settle-in-australia/beginning-life/index.htm.

The Australian Human Rights Commission (formerly known as the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission) is an independent statutory organisation and reports to the Federal Parliament through the Attorney-General. It aims to promote and protect human rights and responsibilities in Australia that include education and public awareness, discrimination and human rights complaints, human rights compliance and policy and legislative development. See www.humanrights.gov.au.

Charles Sturt University in partnership with the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE) have developed a suite of resources for early childhood educators to build capacity in working with Indigenous families and remote communities. Links to these resources are available at www.csu.edu.au/special/teach-ec/RESOURCES/html/Perspective.html.

The Diversity in Programming factsheet provides information regarding the benefits of creating culturally inclusive environments and outlines strategies for creating these. To access the factsheet see ncac.acecqa.gov.au/educator-resources/factsheets/factsheet4.pdf.

The Family Worker Training and Development Programme trains professionals to enhance their work with families. For information on cultural diversity see www.fwtdp.org.au/index.php/resources/diversity-in-practice.

Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (FASSTT) is a network of agencies in each state of Australia that provide services and resources for survivors of trauma and torture and their families. The contact information for the service centres in each state can be found on the website www.fasstt.org.au.

The Mental Health in Multicultural Australia Project (MHiMA) project is focused on providing mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention for individuals and communities with culturally diverse backgrounds. It supports professionals and mental health services to respond effectively to communities and individuals from culturally diverse backgrounds living with mental health problems. See www.mmha.org.au/ for more information.

The Marymead Child and Family Centre in association with the University of Canberra have developed a program Parenting Between Cultures (Bending like a river) that aims to strengthen the ability of culturally and linguistically diverse families to parent confidently in the Australian context.

The program focuses on identifying strengths and solutions and aims to help address concerns at an early age. Links to these resources are available at www.marymead.org.au/publications and click on the research tab. 

The NSW Transcultural Mental Health Centre has produced an excellent multilingual resource on children’s mental health called: Healthy kids: A parent’s guide. This resource is available in several languages, both in print and as audio files, from www.chw.edu.au/healthykids.

The Immigration Museum, Victoria has extensive information to assist adults develop children’s understanding of culture, diversity, belonging and identity. There are also a number of links to specific resources for educators. See www.museumvictoria.com.au/immigrationmuseum/discoverycentre/identity/people-like-them/the-playground/ for more information.

 

The following articles and books also contain further information on supporting children from culturally diverse backgrounds and their families:

  • Gonzalez-Mena, J. (2008). Diversity in early care and education; honouring differences. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Priest, N., Walton, J., White, F., Kowal, E., Baker, A., & Paradies, Y. (2012). Understanding the complexities of ethnic-racial socialization processes for both minority and majority groups: A 30-year review. Manuscript submitted for publication.
  • Small, M. S. (2001). Kids: How biology and culture shape the way we raise our children. New York: Doubleday.