Diversity Matters – The People of Australia

Successful service delivery depends on understanding the market in which one operates, and recognising and adapting to demographic requirements. Australia is an extraordinarily culturally diverse country, and a new report ‘The People of Australia’ provides vital information about the population. The publication, released every five years, draws on Census data to show a range of demographic trends in local government areas including birthplaces, ancestry, languages and religious affiliations.  Some key statistics include:

  • Forty-five per cent of Australians are born overseas or have at least one parent who was born overseas
  • As a nation, we now speak more than 300 languages, and originate from around 230 different countries

Laurie Ferguson, Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Settlement Services said the report highlighted Australia’s massive transformation since its migration program started more than 60 years ago.  

“We should all be immensely proud that this transformation has occurred in a harmonious manner…Cultural diversity is a source of both social and economic wealth. It gives vibrancy and dynamism to Australian life and is essential to the nation’s economic strength.”

The publication shows that between 2001 and 2006:

  • Chinese, Indians and New Zealanders were the most rapidly growing overseasborn groups
  • Greater Dandenong (in outer Melbourne) became the multicultural capital with more than 25 different nationalities represented among its population
  • The number of South African-born people in Western Australia grew by 42 per cent
  • Australia’s fastest growing languages were Mandarin, Arabic and Hindi
  • Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism were our fastest growing religions

Click on link below to read a full copy of the report


About the Author:

Tamerlaine Beasley is an expert who enables effective collaboration and communication in diverse and global workplaces.She is a member of the Board of the Australia-ASEAN Council for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and founder and Managing Director of Beasley Intercultural, Australia’s premier cross-cultural training and consultancy company.Tamerlaine’s keynote presentations, advisory services and training programs are described by clients as ‘transformational’ and ‘game changing’. Examples of her work include: coaching and advising business leaders in Australia and Asia; working with global teams to optimise performance; developing a framework for training and capability building through international partnerships for APEC; building local staff capacity at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific; leading the development of diversity and inclusion programs for the Australian Public Service Commission and the Department of Defence.