Cultural diversity continues to grow in Cockburn

City of Cockburn CEO Stephen Cain, Cultural Diversity Officer Meski Ashagrie, Community Development Manager Gail Bowman and Family & Community Development Manager Barbara Freeman, with Welcoming Cities National Manager Aleem Ali (centre).
City of Cockburn CEO Stephen Cain, Cultural Diversity Officer Meski Ashagrie, Community Development Manager Gail Bowman and Family & Community Development Manager Barbara Freeman, with Welcoming Cities National Manager Aleem Ali (centre).

HISTORICALLY European based, the biggest cultural groups in Cockburn today have roots in Asia.

Cockburn, considered the sixth most multicultural local government in the state, has more than 21 per cent of the population speak a language other than English at home, compared to the state average of 17.54 per cent.

While Cockburn’s immigrants had primarily hailed from the UK, Italy, Croatia and Portugal in the past, today’s residents are more likely to come from China, India and the Philippines.

The City has recently become a member of the international Welcoming Cities network after adopting its inaugural Cultural Diversity Strategy in September.

More than 200 local governments around the world are part of Welcoming Cities, which aims to provide an inclusive environment for people of all ethnicities and backgrounds.

Cockburn Cultural Diversity officer Meski Ashagrie said the newly adopted Cultural Diversity Strategy would help the City deal with the strengths and challenges that come with the area’s increased diversity.

“The Philippines is now the largest non-English speaking country of birth in the City, accounting for two per cent of our population,” she said.

“Residents from a Chinese background are the top culturally diverse community in Cockburn, about 3.5 per cent of our population.”

Visit www.cockburn.wa.gov.au/Community-Support/Multicultural-Cockburn for more information.