Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs About AWECC

When was AWECC established?

AWECC was officially established in 2014, although a small group of members were planning the establishment of the organisation since 2012. The organisation was Incorporated in 2014 under the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012. Read more about AWECC's history here.

What is AWECC's Vision and Mission?

AWECC's Vision is of an inclusive, harmonious Albury-Wodonga community, where everyone belongs. 

AWECC's Mission is to make multiculturalism work! We achieve this by advocating for the needs of our constituents, celebrating cultural diversity, and empowering members through genuine participation, capacity building initiatives, and active partnerships.

FAQs About the Albury Wodonga region.

How culturally diverse is our community?

More than one in 10 (10.5%) of Albury-Wodonga residents were born overseas, and nearly one in four residents (22.5%) have at least one parent who was born overseas.

Today, 6.6% of our local population were born in non-English speaking countries.

Although our community is still nowhere near as diverse as metropolitan areas such as Melbourne or Sydney, our diversity both in languages spoken and countries of origin is growing.

How culturally diverse is Australia?

Australia is very diverse! Did you know:
- that nearly half (49 per cent) of Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent who was
- that Australian's identify with over 300 ancestries
- that since 1945, more than 7.5 million people have emigrated to Australia
- 85 per cent of Australians agree multiculturalism has been good for Australia
- the most common languages (apart from English) spoken in Australia are Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek, Tagalog/Filipino, Hindi, Spanish and Punjabi
- that more than 70 Indigenous languages are still spoken in Australia.

This information taken from ABS 2016 Census Data. Find more on Australian Bureau of Statistics website.

What are the main countries of birth for overseas-born residents?

The 2016 Census reveals that in Albury-Wodonga, 2121 local residents were born in the United Kingdom (UK). Coming in equal second place was New Zealand and India, which both recorded 853 residents born in those countries.

The country of birth which recorded the strongest growth over the past five years was India, with 853 residents born in that country, a seven-fold growth since 2006). 643 residents were born in Bhutan or Nepal (which had zero recorded residents in 2006), followed by the Phillipines (504) whose population has doubled in 10 years.

The number of residents born in European and Balkan countries have been in gradual decline since the previous two Census' (2006 and 2011), with the UK and Germany recording net population losses since 2011, of -109 and -62 respectively.  

Read more here.

How many people from refugee backgrounds have settled in our community?

AWECC's best estimate (as accurate data for this information is hard to find), is that over the past 10 years more than 2,000 residents from refugee backgrounds have settled on the Border, with the majority of these settling within the last five years. 

Department of Social Services (2017) databases suggest that since 2007 more than 3,250 people have settled in Albury-Wodonga on permanent (or provisional) visas alone. This number does not account for the number of residents who've arrived on temporary work visa’s, provisional Skilled visas, or as overseas students, which means the number is likely, much higher.

How many different languages are spoken in Albury-Wodonga?

6.6% of Albury-Wodonga residents speak a language other than English at home, with more than 55 languages being spoken. 

Of those residents who speak another language at home, around 1% speak English "not well" or "not at all".

Which are the main languages spoken in Albury-Wodonga?

Other than English (which is spoken in 93.4% of households, Nepali is the 2nd most common language spoken in homes on the Border, with 717 residents speaking this language. Following Nepali is Punjabi (394), Filipino / Tagalog (379), and German (305). Read more here.

What about religious diversity in Albury-Wodonga?

A majority of Albury-Wodonga residents (61.4%) identified as religious in 2016. As a community, residents of Albury has a higher proportion of religious affiliates than regional NSW as a whole. Although religious affiliation is still relatively high in Albury-Wodonga, almost 1 in 3 (29.4%) of local residents identified as not religious.

The latest Census shows that religious affiliation to the Western Catholic, Anglican, and the Uniting Church has rapidly declined over 5 years. Adherence to Hinduism and Buddhism however, grew. Read more here.

 Albury-Wodonga's Aboriginal heritage.

Albury Wodonga is a region where Aboriginal and European culture live side by side, in a community that is every bit as culturally rich and diverse as its past and present inhabitants.

Previously known as Bungambrawatha, or homeland, by the Wiradjuri people, the name of the region was later changed to Albury in 1838 when the Assistant Surveyor General decided that this new name would sound more familiar to the ears of European Settlers.

Wodonga, meaning bulrushes, retained its indigenous name and continues to serve as a firm link to the traditional owners of this culturally rich landscape.

This information is taken from the following website https://www.alburywodongaaustralia.com.au/info/aboriginal-heritage/

Useful Links

Advocacy and Peak Bodies

Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV) The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria Inc. (ECCV) is the peak body for ethnic and multicultural organisations in Victoria.

Ethnic Communities' Council of NSW (ECCNSW) The Ethnic Communities' Council of NSW (ECC) is the peak body for all culturally and linguistically diverse communities. 

Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is the national umbrella body for refugees and the organisations and individuals who support them.

Settlement Services International (Australia) Settlement Services International is a community-based not-for-profit organisation providing a range of refugee, migrant, asylum seeker, youth and disability services in NSW. 

Federation of Ethnic Communities' Council's of Australia (FECCA) FECCA is the peak, national body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.


Regional Ethnic Communities Councils

Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District Inc. The Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District is a not for profit community organisation which relies on grants from government and industry to provide settlement, refugee brokerage, volunteer support and information and advocacy services.


Local Ethnic Community Groups

Cultural Community Groups - Contact List list of local cultural and ethnic community groups in and around Albury-Wodonga.

Government Agencies

Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) is the voice of Victoria’s culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities and is the main link between them and the Victorian government.

Multicultural NSW promotes community harmony and social cohesion in one of the most culturally diverse states in the world.

Australian Government Department of Home Affairs is responsible for multicultural affairs and immigration.

Community Service Organisations

Albury Wodonga Volunteer Resource Bureau (VRB) VRB assists newly arrived migrants, refugees and humanitarian entrants through the Department of Social Services' Settlement Grants program. 

Murray Valley Sanctuary Refugee Group 
Formed in 2004, Murray Valley Sanctuary Refugee Group sponsors and assists refugees to settle in Albury-Wodonga by providing funding and support to those on humanitarian visas in order that they can achieve independence and integration.

NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) is a specialist, non-profit organisation that for more than 25 years has provided culturally appropriate and cutting edge psychological treatment and support to help people heal the scars of torture and refugee trauma and rebuild their lives in Australia.

GriefLine Community & Family Services Inc. GriefLine listens, cares and supports people experiencing loss and grief, at any stage in life. Free telephone or Skype counselling is available to anyone between Midday to 3am everyday; they also have a Chinese helpline service for Mandarin-speakers available on Wednesday's 8pm - 10pm. 

Research Reports

You will find all of AWECC's recent reports, policy submissions and other publications below.

Our Community: Multicultural Snapshot (2018)
Youth Concerns & Solutions Report (November 2017)

Ethnic Voice e-newsletter

Ethnic Voice is AWECC's monthly e-newsletter with news, information, upcoming events and programs, resources and training and job and volunteer opportunities.

You can subscribe here.

Or view our past digital e-newsletters (2015-2019) here

And our even earlier printed editions (2015): Summer, Issue 2, Issue 3, and Issue 4

Disaster Preparedness

Disaster Information and Preparedness for Multicultural Communities (Version 1)

The purpose of this AWECC information packet is to ensure that refugee, migrant, and other CALD communities are informed and prepared to keep their families safe during times of disaster or emergency. This version is designed specifically for the ongoing bushfire emergency in North East Victoria and Southern New South Wales. The info packets come in English, Nepali, Swahili, Punjabi, and Arabic.

AWECC Disaster Information and Preparedness English v1
AWECC Disaster Information and Preparedness Nepali v1
AWECC Disaster Information and Preparedness Swahili v1
AWECC Disaster Information and Preparedness Punjabi v1
AWECC Disaster Information and Preparedness Arabic v1

Many thanks to our volunteer community translators! Bhakti Dhamala, Grace Uwase, Sukhpreet Kaur Arora, and Suzy Abou Assaleh.

Disclaimer: Whilst care is taken to ensure the resources provided are current, factual and useful, we cannot guarantee the absolute accuracy or currency of these resources, nor do we (necessarily) endorse the resources or organisations from which the resources are sourced. 

Online Resources

Sharing is caring... Whether it's fact sheets or research papers, video links or educational resources, this is your one-stop multicultural resources hub! We hope you find these resources useful. 

Research Papers and Resources

Social Cohesion and Inclusion

Migration and Settlement

Young People

  • Bright Futures - Spotlight on the wellbeing of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.

Older People and Aged Care

Health and Wellbeing


Fact Sheets

Domestic and Family Violence

Project Management

Video Links

Disclaimer: Whilst care is taken to ensure the resources provided are current, factual and useful, we cannot guarantee the absolute accuracy or currency of these resources, nor do we (necessarily) endorse the resources or organisations from which the resources are sourced.