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Brisbane City Council

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Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, is located on the east coast of Australia. It is a bustling, modern, and culturally diverse city. The Brisbane Local Government Area has a larger population than any other local government in Australia and encompasses residential, rural, coastal and forested regions. 

With a population of more than one million people, Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city after Sydney and Melbourne. Brisbane is a great place to live, work and relax – it’s a safe, vibrant, green, and prosperous city, valued for its friendly and optimistic character and enjoyable lifestyle. 

Brisbane is a city with many cultures, languages, and religions. Of the total population of Brisbane, more than 35% were born overseas and 28% of households speak a language other than English (note: based on 2021 Census data).

Council’s Brisbane Vision 2031 sees Brisbane as being a city of strong and diverse communities that show friendship and care for one another by helping others. It’s a place where all residents, students, and visitors are welcomed and cultural diversity is celebrated. The friendliness and diversity of the community are two qualities that most people in Brisbane value about Brisbane’s lifestyle and community. Brisbane Vision 2031 was developed in consultation with residents and encourages all residents to be involved in decisions that affect our city. 

Council recognises the valuable contribution and benefits that cultural diversity brings to the city. We are committed to making Brisbane a city where residents from refugee backgrounds can participate fully in civic life and live without experiences of social exclusion, racism, discrimination or any form of disadvantage. 

In 2019, Council became a member of Welcoming Cities, a national network of cities, shires, towns and municipalities that are committed to an Australia where everyone can belong and participate in social, cultural, economic and civic life. Council provides support, expertise, data and connections to community networks and aims to: 

  • provide accessible and equitable services to people from migrant and refugee backgrounds 
  • ensure communities from migrant and refugee backgrounds are aware of Council’s role, programs and services, including how to access these programs and services 
  • work with community associations and groups in a collaborative and constructive way 
  • build purposeful relationships with communities from migrant and refugee backgrounds 
  • deliver initiatives to build harmony, respect, and understanding among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and the wider community.  

Further information on Council’s multicultural programs and festivals can be found on Council’s Multicultural Services web page. 

Multicultural programs and initiatives 

The Lord Mayor’s Refugee Welcome Ceremony 

Lmae_ th_may_ _refugee_welcome_ceremony_ The Lord Mayor’s Refugee Welcome Ceremony is an annual event to officially welcome people from refugee backgrounds as new residents of the city. The event promotes Brisbane as an inclusive city that values diversity and the contribution of people from all backgrounds.   

The ceremony also provides opportunities for new residents to network, meet with community leaders and access a range of programs and services provided by the government and non-government agencies. 

Brisbane Multicultural Centre 

The Brisbane Multicultural Centre in Woolloongabba was the first facility of its kind in Queensland when it was opened by Council in 2012. It’s a community space where people from migrant and refugee backgrounds can access services to help their settlement. Council leases the facility to Multicultural Australia and Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma, two of the major settlement services in Brisbane. 

The centre also provides meeting and activity spaces for hire.

Events and celebrations 

Council supports Brisbane’s cultural expression and the celebration of heritage through facilitated partnerships, grants and sponsorship of festivals and events. They include Brisbane Chinese Cultural Festival, Buddha Birth Day Festival, Eidfest, Eritrean Festival, French Festival, Indian Bazaar, Iranian New Year Festival (Nowruz Persian New Year Festival), Italian Week, Oktoberfest, Paniyiri, Polish Festival, Sri Lankan Vesak Festival, Vietnamese Children’s Moon Festival, Vietnamese Tet and Zillmere Multicultural Festival. 

The Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Round Table The Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Round Table identifies and facilitates opportunities for business and economic development in Brisbane’s multicultural community, including the following initiatives. 

  • The Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Business Dinner and Awards is an annual gala event bringing together the city’s multicultural community and business sector to celebrate Brisbane’s diversity, innovation, and economic prosperity. . All funds raised from the event support the Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Business Scholarship Program and Mentoring Scheme. 


Want to find out more about Refugee Welcome Zones? Contact us by email or by phone (02) 9211 9333

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