Culturally and linguistically diverse communities

The VEC works to ensure that community members understand their democratic rights and responsibilities, and learn how to enrol and vote correctly.

To support this, the VEC works in partnership with ethno-specific service providers, community members and leaders, providing culturally responsive services and promoting electoral participation and active citizenship.

On this page:

Community voice—CALD Advisory Group

CALD Advisory Group informs the VEC’s community engagement and electoral services.

It provides expert advice and knowledge ensuring our work is culturally responsive to community needs.

The advisory group meets a twice a year.

Membership consists of government and non-government CALD workers and a number of individual community members.

New members are always welcome; please contact us to get involved.

Electoral outreach—we can come to you!

Our information sessions use images and mock ballot papers to help people understand how to vote correctly.

We are able to run an information session with your community group, anywhere in Victoria.

Our team of Community Educators can facilitate a session in the community languages listed below, or we can provide an interpreter:

  • Arabic
  • Chollo
  • Dari
  • Dinka
  • Egyptian
  • Hazaragi
  • Hindi
  • Parsi
  • Punjabi
  • Nuer
  • Tigrinya
  • Sudanese
  • Sudanese Arabic
  • South Sudanese Arabic
  • Urdu.

Active citizenship workshop for community leaders

Our active citizenship workshop aims to build community leaders’ political literacy and capacity to make positive change for their community; ultimately leading to increased electoral participation.

The workshop consists of two parts:

  • Be heard is an all day workshop. It is designed to assist and build participants’ knowledge and skills on how to take action step-by-step.
  • Be informed is a five and half hour workshop. It caters for participants who want to better understand government and how preferential voting works.

Both workshops are best suited as part of existing leadership programs. Content is flexible and can be adapted to meet participants’ learning needs.

The Be heard workshop is currently embedded in Leadership Victoria’s CALD leadership programs (external link).

As at early 2017, over 200 community leaders have taken part.

Democracy Ambassador program

In 2013 the VEC partnered with the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) to implement the first Democracy Ambassador (DA) pilot program in Australia.

The Democracy Ambassador Program uses an action-research method to identify and implement effective strategies to increase enrolment, political literacy and civic participation among Horn of Africa communities living in Victoria.

During the 2014 State election, 26 community members were trained as Community Educators to deliver electoral information to their community.

In total, 151 electoral information sessions were delivered:

  • 59 for Horn of Africa communities
  • 92 for wider CALD communities.

It was a highly successful program. The VEC has endorsed the model as best practice for working with CALD communities.

Employment opportunities during elections

The VEC encourages community members to apply for casual employment during elections. You must be able to speak and read English well. Visit Working at an election for more information.


All About Voting

This kit promotes active citizenship and democratic participation amongst CALD communities. Developed in partnership with AMES it is suitable for the newly arrived to learn about the Australian political system.

Have a look at our more of our resources.


To find out more, or to book an electoral outreach session, please contact:

CALD Communities Officer

Asvin Phorugngan