What is Welcoming Cities?

Welcoming Cities, an initiative of Welcoming Australia, is a national network of cities, shires, towns and municipalities who are committed to an Australia where everyone can belong and participate in social, cultural, economic and civic life. Welcoming Cities supports local councils to become more welcoming and inclusive of their diverse communities.

What does this mean for Manningham?

Manningham is one of the most culturally diverse municipalities in Victoria. Almost 40% of Manningham residents were born overseas and 16.8% of the overseas born population were new migrants in 2016. The City of Manningham is home to residents born in 98 different countries, speaking 72 different languages.

Migration to Manningham is also projected to increase over the next decade. Net change migration rate projections indicate an increase from 1036 in 2016 (the last Census) to 1655 in 2019. It was also predicted that total ‘in migration’ figures will increase from 12,325 in 2019, to 12,904 in 2029. In light of the impacts of COVID-19, we now understand that migration will be significantly impacted, at least in the short-term. However, figures are still expected to trend upward overall across the decade.

Through the Healthy City Strategy 2017-2021 and associated action plans, Council made a commitment to “investigate Council becoming part of the Welcoming Cities initiative to foster a sense of belonging and participation for all members of our community”.

Manningham Council committed to participate in the Welcoming Cities network in September 2018, and is now progressing towards achieving the Australian Standard for Welcoming Cities.  The Standard establishes the framework for local councils to:

  • Benchmark their cultural diversity and inclusion policies and practices across the organisation
  • Identify where and how further efforts could be directed
  • Assess progress over time.

How does the accreditation process work?

This process involves a self-assessment of Council policies and procedures against the Standard to assess our current status and opportunities for the future.

Manningham Council has been approved to progress to the first level of accreditation which is 'Established'. These indicators will look at the following areas:

  • Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as First Peoples, and engagement of local Indigenous communities
  • Partnering with diverse stakeholders to promote a welcoming culture
  • Supporting and promoting activities and initiatives that nurture connections between migrant and receiving communities
  • Ensuring cultural diversity and inclusion is incorporated into business and strategic planning.

Manningham is already taking positive steps towards being more welcoming and inclusive of our diverse community through the Be Kind Manningham and Community Spirit campaigns.

For more information about Welcoming Cities and the accreditation process, please visit the Welcoming Cities website.

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