Australia is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse countries in the world.
In addition to our rich indigenous cultures, Australia is a nation built on migration. Our migration program sources people from more than 200 countries and over one quarter of Australia’s population was born overseas. Over 300 languages, including indigenous languages, are spoken in Australian households.
This diversity has benefited Australia enormously, both in economic and social terms. However, it has also created challenges. One area in which this is evident is the justice system – individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds can experience significant barriers to accessing justice. In order for accessible, equitable and fair justice to be delivered to all, the justice system must recognise, understand and respond to the needs of culturally diverse communities.
The Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity is an advisory body formed to assist Australian courts, judicial officers and administrators to positively respond to our diverse needs, including the particular issues that arise in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The Migration Council Australia provides secretariat support for the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity. The MCA is an independent non-partisan organisation that undertakes research and policy development on migration, settlement and social cohesion.