Engaging with multicultural communities to understand and respond to their needs

Engaging with multicultural communities to understand and respond to their needs

Helen Christensen, Deng Lual and Emanuel Braz
31 March 2021

This webinar explored how professionals can engage with multicultural communities to better understand and respond to their needs.

Diverse millennial and mature business people in teamwork

Organisations are increasingly being asked to engage with communities of all backgrounds as a way of ensuring their programs and services are not only effective, but equitable. This webinar summarised the key principles and practices of community engagement, highlighting things to keep in mind when engaging with multicultural communities.

Specifically, it:

  • Explored key strategies, benefits and challenges as described in research evidence
  • Shared insights and learnings from professionals engaging multicultural communities in designing various projects and services

  • Provided recommendations for professionals considering or planning engagements with multicultural communities.

This webinar is of interest to professionals working in community development, local government and health and social services.

Related resources

Featured image: © GettyImages/Drazen_

About the presenters

Helen Christensen

Helen is a community engagement specialist with skills and experience in training, research, process design and facilitation. She is an Industry Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Public Policy and Governance, where she has recently completed a PhD exploring the practice and professionalisation of community engagement. Helen is also the Principal of The Public Engagement Practice, where she works with public organisations to design and deliver participatory processes and to build people’s capability to design and deliver engagement themselves. In addition to these roles, Helen regularly delivers training for the International Association of Public Participation. 

Deng Lual

Deng Lual is a passionate Youth and Community Development Worker with more than 10 years’ experience in both the public and private sectors. Deng is currently a Community Engagement & Project Officer for the Multicultural Drug and Alcohol Partnership (MDAP) at the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH) – a program for North Richmond Community Health specifically tailored to supporting young South Sudanese Victorians in the City of Yarra who are experiencing harms from alcohol and other drugs use. Throughout his career, Deng has interacted with people of all age groups, from diverse backgrounds and in situations where cultural awareness and appreciation are integral. Deng is a believer in multiculturalism and now sits on the Regional Advisory Council of the Victorian Multicultural Commission as well as on the Local Reference Group for the South Sudanese Community Support Groups in the city of Wyndham. 

Emanuel Braz

Emanuel is the Manager of Communications and Community Engagement at North Richmond Community Health. He has a longstanding commitment to strategic communication and community engagement in the development context. Emanuel has lived and worked in community in Melbourne since 1993. He has also, on and off over the past 20 years, worked internationally, including in Timor-Leste and in India, in strategic communication, media and international development. He completed his PhD in 2015, at Victoria University, with his research focus on communication and the emergence of national identity in post-colonial and post-conflict nations, looking at the experience of Timor-Leste.