Sydney’s Changing
Multicultural Mix:
Trends & Stats from Census 2011
What to ask of Data
Brian Cooper (NEDA, The Doghouse Team)
What is a trend?

A trend is a series of data points which
indicate a possible future. The meaning
we give to these data points comes from
our past experiences and understandings.
What is change?
Aging
 Move
 Form and dissolve relationships
 Find and lose employment
 Have children
 Responses to uncertainty
 Some questions concerning change are
relevant others are not

What is important?

Asking the right questions initially avoids
problems later.
◦ Respectful of the social and cultural integrity
of all community members.
◦ It is more socially inclusive.
◦ Many communities are often excluded
especially those from diaspora communities
◦ To have a story of change, one needs a story
based in the reality of the communities
involved
Issues with Data Understanding

Few are prepared to critique data quality
◦ Limited understanding of data limitations
◦ Policy and programme relationship not well
communicated
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Privacy paranoia
Who owns the data e.g. Public good or for who
able to pay
Too many arts/social science graduates with a fear
of numbers in key positions
Insufficient skills development
Data providers are often very sensitive to critism
Definition of ethnicity
Variable
Available in Census
Languages spoken
Primary identified language only, does
not deal with literacy in particular
language or if person speaks multiple
languages
Religious background and culture
Religion is recorded, but non
Christian religions are not dealt with
same degree of respect.
Social and cultural group identification Ancestry
Country of birth
recorded
Country of socialisation
Not recorded
Country of Citizenship
Not recorded
Social status of community
Ancestry
Who do we mean when
talking about Ethnicity
NESB – Non English Speaking Background

Emphasis is on language as a determining criteria
influencing cultural values, practices and experiences
of barriers. The term has been used as an indicator of
disadvantage in social policy areas, including access to
information, services and opportunities.
CALD – Culturally and Linguistically
Diverse background

An all inclusive term that aims to include all people
whether from the majority Anglo-Australian group or
a minority group in Australia.
Who do we mean when
talking about Ethnicity
LBOTE - Language Background
Other Than English
 “Are those in whose home a language
other than standard English is spoken by
parents, guardians, grandparents, siblings,
other relatives”.
(From Department of School Education Annual Census of Students)
What is Diversity?
The Doghouse Team as example
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8 Team members
6 raised in LBOTE family backgrounds
4 born in Australia 4 other countries
7 educated in an English speaking environment
(secondary and tertiary)
5 educated in Australia (primary secondary,
tertiary)
4 speak collectively 12 -15 languages
4 literate in 6 scripts
1 Indigenous (Wiriadjuri)
All speak English Very Well
1 Hindu, 3 Islam, I Jewish/Christian, 3 Christian
What do we look for?
Arabic
Islam
Christianity
Other Religions
Not stated
No Religion
Supplementary codes
Buddhism
Judaism
Hinduism
178,178 Precent
87,625 49.18%
81,604 45.80%
4,044
2.27%
2,914
1.64%
1,519
0.85%
363
0.20%
61
0.03%
38
0.02%
10
0.01%
What do we look for?
Arabic
Australia
Lebanon
Iraq
Egypt
Not stated
Syria
Sudan
Jordan
Saudi Arabia
Kuwait
Gaza Strip and West Bank
North Africa other
Middle East Other
Africa Balance
Other
178,178
81,659
49,724
14,172
10,559
4,128
3,416
3,415
2,427
1,626
1,263
1,175
807
1,783
403
1,621
Percent
45.83%
27.91%
7.95%
5.93%
2.32%
1.92%
1.92%
1.36%
0.91%
0.71%
0.66%
0.45%
1.00%
0.23%
0.91%
What do we look for?
Islam
207,175Percent
Lebanese
53,939 26.04%
Turkish
17,043 8.23%
Australian
13,829 6.68%
Bangladeshi 12,487 6.03%
Pakistani
12,239 5.91%
Indian
9,768 4.71%
Afghan
8,653 4.18%
English
8,582 4.14%
Arab, nfd
7,559 3.65%
Iraqi
6,126 2.96%
Iranian
4,584 2.21%
Indonesian
4,435 2.14%
Bengali
2,808 1.36%
Egyptian
2,693 1.30%
Palestinian
2,572 1.24%
Syrian
2,495 1.20%
Bosnian
2,294 1.11%
Hazara
2,117 1.02%
Fijian Indian
1,926 0.93%
Other
20,930 10.10%
Not stated
10,096 4.87%
Avoiding Monoculturalism

Defining a community
◦ Where they come from
◦ Where they have lived
◦ Linguistics
 Language spoken
 Script used
 Literacy in script

Experience of
(in)exclusion
◦
◦
◦
◦
Political
Economic
Religious
Social

Beliefs
◦ Groups identified with
◦ Religious
◦ Gender
◦ Educational
◦ Social
 Past experiences
Data Sources

Census taken every five years – remember it
is only a self reported survey where the data
items are not externally validated (eg there
are errors)
◦ Available as:
 Online Products Tablebuilder Basic Tablebuilder Pro
 Datapacks
 Quick Census

Word of caution, the census is location
derived is essential an apple is an apple not a
brick spatially speaking
Data Sources

Administrative Data
◦ Check assumptions about location, and client
definition. Some online datasets are difficult to
navigate.
 Settlement Database: records all arrivals can retrieve
some data to SLA only
 Home and Community Care Data: quarterly
summary of usage language and birth place recorded,
some issues with data reliability
 Survey of Disability Aging and Carers: sample
survey only. Most non-anglo groups undercounted
 SHS collection: difficult to access but could be done if
persistent
 Health Insurance Commission (Medicare): Can be
difficult to deal with.
Data Sources

Administrative Data
◦ Check assumptions about location, and client
definition. Some online datasets are difficult to
navigate.
 NDA: State wide information, country of birth only
 Centrelink: Will provide data, but will be difficult
due to privacy concerns
 NSW Govt.: Some departments will give limited
access depending on the request and who is making
the request.
 NSW Health: very difficult to deal with
Anglocentrism dominates thinking

Simplistic definitions in census
◦ E.g. Language: Many are fluent in multiple
languages
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Trade
National
Local
Family
Mono-dimensional understanding
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Birthplace
Language
Ancestry
Not Birthplace by Language by Other variable
Towards Cultural
Acknowledgement
Funding & Reporting
1. We
need to break the Anglo Ethnocentric
approach to government policy and planning.
Lip service only to people from NESB/CALD
is contrary to international obligations and
human rights.
2. Country
of Birth is not sufficient as indicator
to capture the group of people in Australia
that arguably experience social disadvantage
and exclusion on the basis of their NESB or
CALD background
Towards Cultural
Acknowledgement
Funding & Reporting
3.
Parental ancestry and languages spoken at
childhood/home need to be part of the sets
of data collected, analysed and reported on.
4.
Dedicated research on the dynamics of
ethnicity (other than Anglo-Australian), in all
policy areas.
5.
Dedicated benchmarks, targets and
strategies need to be developed to address
issues of over/under-representation of
people from NESB/CALD.
What are some of the issues relevant to
people from NESB / CALD Backgrounds
Language – Lack of access to information,
services, informed decision making Access to
interpreters and translations ; illiteracy in
preferred language

Experience base – Lack of understanding
and knowledge, expectations Rights * Legal
System * Process & Procedures
Norms, Values,Taboos, Etiquette – Stigma;
Shame * Age * Gender * fear or mistrust
of authority * Eye contact * form of
address
What are some of the issues relevant to
people from NESB / CALD Backgrounds

Diet – Observance can be non-negotiable and
/or question of comfort/safety * Prohibited to eat
certain food * food preparation must follow
rules

Faith based expectations - Observance can be
non-negotiable and /or question of comfort/safety
* Space for prayer * Observance of particular
dates/times of the year for rituals
Racism and Discrimination – Lack of support,
encouragement * Individual racism *
institutionalised racism *mainstreaming
Towards Cultural Competence
Organisational Level
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•
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•
•
•
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•
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Cultural Competence Planning
Human Resource Development
Professional Development and Training
Community Partnerships and Governance
Linguistic Competence
Service Development
Continuous Quality Improvement
Data Management
Policy Development
Towards Cultural Competence
Individual Level
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•
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•
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Self-awareness
Cultural Knowledge
Linguistic Competence
Integration of awareness and
knowledge into daily practice
Obtaining and Evaluation service
user feedback
What does the data say?
ABS Census - Non-private accommodation 2006 – 2011 Sydney Metro
Accommodation
Psychiatric hospital or institution
Hostel for the disabled
Nursing home
Accommodation for the retired or aged (not selfcontained)
Hostel for homeless, night shelter, refuge
Childcare institution
Corrective institution for children
Other welfare institution
Prison, corrective institution for adults
Immigration detention centre
Convent, monastery, etc.
Total
%
Increase/de
2006 Census 2011 Census crease
27.5%
25.3%
34.5%
23.4%
17.6%
-52.1%
34.5%
39.0%
21.0%
22.6%
27.7%
11.4%
11.7%
12.5%
27.5%
98.1%
38.5%
32.6%
26.0%
32.7%
33.3%
6.9%
18.1%
26.6%
98.1%
48.8%
34.6%
-2.4%
18.0%
300.0%
-57.1%
143.1%
-11.2%
40.6%
32.6%
5.4%
What does the data say?

AIHW CSTDA 2006 (Commonwealth
State/Territory Disability Agreement)

People from NESB with disability significantly under-utilise
government funded disability supported accommodation services.
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While approximately 1 in 5 or 20.0% people in Australia are born
in a Non English Speaking Country, 1 in 24 or 4.2% people from
a Non English Speaking Country receive CSTDA funded supported
accommodation services in 2007-08.
References
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ABS Census 2006, 2008, Counting the Homeless,
http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/subscriber.nsf/0/57393A133
87C425DCA2574B900162DF0/$File/20500-2008Reissue.pdf
AIHW, 2005, Homeless SAAP clients with a disability 2002–03
http://www.aihw.gov.au/publications/aus/bulletin23/bulletin23.pdf
AIHW, 2010, SAAP National Data Collection annual report 2008–
09, http://www.aihw.gov.au/publications/index.cfm/title/11235
Commonwealth of Australia, 2006, Homelessness and mental health
linkages: review of national and international literature,
http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/ment
al-homeless-toc
FaHCSIA, 2007, No Place to Go: Report on the Needs Analysis of
Crisis Accommodation for Culturally and Linguistically (CaLD)
background people (Islamic),
http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/housing/pubs/women/dar_al_shifah/Pag
es/default.aspx
References
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http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/housing/progserv/homelessness/whitep
aper/Documents/the_road_home.pdf
MDAA, Cultural Competence Checklist for Workers: Factsheet 5,
http://www.communitydoor.org.au/cald
MDAA, Cultural Competence Checklist for Agencies: Factsheet 6
http://www.communitydoor.org.au/cald
National Centre for Cultural Competence,
http://www11.georgetown.edu/research/gucchd/nccc/foundations/fr
ameworks.html#ccdefinition,
NEDA, 2010, What does the data say,
http://www.neda.org.au/page/publications.html,
Productivity Commission, 2010, Report on Government Services,
http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/93962/57chapter14.pdf
Sawrikar P, and I Katz, 2008(?), How useful is the term ‘Culturally
and Linguistically Diverse’ (CALD) in Australian research, practice,
and policy discourse?, University of New South Wales: Social Policy
Research Centre,
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Sydney’s Changing Multicultural Mix: