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Making multicultural communications mainstream in Sydney and Canberra

Ethnolink Summit 2024 recently concluded its successful run across two vibrant Australian cities: Sydney and Canberra. With over 100 attendees at each event, the summit brought together a diverse audience of communications and community engagement professionals from industry, government, academia and not-for-profit organisations.

Making Multicultural Communications Mainstream

Ethnolink Summit 2024 challenged the traditional view of multicultural communication as simply being about translations. Under the theme “Making Multicultural Communications Mainstream,” the summit aimed to elevate the practice to a core competency for organisations operating in Australia’s diverse society.

The focus shifted from a reactive, one-size-fits-all approach to a proactive strategy that celebrates cultural differences and tailors communication for maximum impact. This shift, championed by the summit, empowers organisations to unlock the full potential of a multicultural audience and foster a more inclusive and prosperous Australia.

A Day Packed with Insights

The full-day events were nothing short of inspiring. Participants delved into strategies and gained valuable insights aimed at enhancing multicultural communications in Australia. The summit’s agenda featured engaging presentations and thought-provoking panels led by industry thought-leaders. Attendees explored innovative ways to bridge cultural gaps, foster understanding and amplify diverse voices.

A big round of applause for the incredible line-up of speakers across Sydney and Canberra, Mary Ann Baquero Geronimo, FECCA (Federation of Ethnic Communities’​ Councils of Australia), Sean de Kretser, Information Access Group, Leigh Cox, Australian Department of Home Affairs, Emily Newton, eSafety Commissioner, Ine Beerens, The Social Policy Group, Omar Al-Ani, The Australian Multicultural Health Collaborative, Anushe Khan, Women’s Health Matters, Saad Khalid, Sam Wong AM (黃樹樑), Mercedes C. Dent, Mainul Haque OAM, Abdallah Habib, NSW Department of Customer Service, Anthony Lam, Katy Eng, Omnicom Media Group, Louise Brown, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, Kathleen Tan and Rebecca Wood, R U OK?, Dana Mouwad, Western Sydney Local Health District, Jahin Tanvir, Nadia Saleh, Rhianne Jeyakumar, Dr Van Tran.

A huge thank you to Erika Gonzalez from RMIT University for her captivating and insightful keynote speech on Quality: A shared responsibility.

Key Learnings

  1. Co-creation is Key: Developing communications in collaboration with the community from the outset ensures relevance and authenticity. By involving community members, we create messages that resonate and address their unique needs.
  2. Building Trust with the Community: Trust is the cornerstone of effective communication. The summit emphasised the importance of building strong relationships with diverse communities. When people feel heard and valued, they become active participants in the communication process.
  3. No One-Size-Fits-All Approach: Cultural nuances vary significantly. Recognising this diversity is essential. Tailoring messages to specific cultural contexts ensures greater impact and engagement.
  4. Quality Translations Matter: Trust is built on care and quality. When translating materials, cultural appropriateness and accuracy are paramount. Avoiding poor translations ensures that messages resonate authentically and don’t negatively affect a business’ credibility.

Moving Forward

As the Ethnolink Summit 2024 concluded, participants left with renewed energy and a commitment to champion multicultural communication. We hope the connections forged during the summit will continue to ripple across industries, fostering a more inclusive and culturally aware Australia, moving towards the goal of making multicultural communications mainstream.

Ethnolink Summit was made possible by our valued sponsors Punchy Digital Media.

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