Australian Government Department of Social Services


Giving and volunteering in culturally and linguistically diverse and Indigenous communities




CIRCA researchers have undertaken a project investigating volunteering and giving in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and Indigenous communities in Australia.

Both CALD and Indigenous communities in Australia are strongly involved in volunteering and giving, yet research in this area is sparse. Our research explored perceptions and understanding of volunteering and giving within these communities, challenges and enablers, and how the philanthropic/not-for-profit sector engages with CALD and Indigenous communities.

Our methodology

The research involved a literature review, forums, focus groups, and interviews. Between October 2015 to February 2016, we consulted with 96 CALD community members and 44 Indigenous community members from urban, rural and remote locations across Australia. Qualitative consultations with 27 representatives of peak bodies and philanthropic organisations were also undertaken.

The outcome

This research will be important in increasing dialogue about how the contribution to social capital made by these communities can be better acknowledged and built upon. The research findings identified a range of opportunities which build on the social capital provided through CALD and Indigenous volunteering and giving. The research report is available here.

In addition, a series of community workshops, commissioned by DSS, were delivered by CIRCA across Australia, designed to translate the research into localised action and initiatives.