Welcoming Workplaces


Join a network that inspires and supports Australian workplaces to develop a culture and practice of welcome, inclusion and belonging within their organisation and the community.

Welcoming Australia leads and activates the most extensive community network for advancing social cohesion nationwide. A key network driver, Welcoming Cities, comprises 82 Local Councils representing almost 47% of the Australian population. Our members seek to apply a whole-of-community, evidence- and strengths-based approach to address population and economic participation challenges.

The continued success of multicultural Australia will depend on our ability to embrace diversity, fostersocial cohesion and build economic success in the face of complex challenges.

Everyone benefits when businesses provide workplaces that promote retention, upskilling, and inclusive employment policies, bolster community partnerships and propel workplace diversity. Businesses are essential enablers in engaging and optimising the vocational talents of their host communities and facilitating a whole-of-community approach to promoting cohesion.

Local businesses are the primary economic driver in many Australian communities, especially in regional areas. Growing welcoming, inclusive, and community-minded workplaces is in the best interest of all stakeholders.

Numerous regions are considering secondary and tertiary settlement of recently arrived migrants and refugees to revitalise their communities. However, they require data, planning and support to advance these endeavours. Additionally, ‘regional attraction’ is only part of the solution. People need to find a sense of value and belonging to remain and actively contribute to community life.

Recently arrived migrants (including refugees) offer diverse skills and experience that many Australian employers don’t always understand or appreciate. Addressing skills and workforce shortages tends to take a deficit-based approach and focus on ‘work readiness’. What is often ignored or under-resourced is ‘employer-readiness’: equipping employers with the knowledge, resources, partnerships, and frameworks to effectively engage, embrace and grow a diverse workforce.



Membership of the Welcoming Workplaces network is a measurable way that businesses can demonstrate their commitment to embedding and advancing cultural diversity and inclusion practices across the entire organisation and create belonging for all stakeholders (including staff, local communities, customers and suppliers). Businesses are supported through:

  • Knowledge sharing. Supporting Workplaces to learn from each other and access resources, research, policies, and case studies.
  • Partnership development. Brokering meaningful multi-sector partnerships that foster a sense of belonging and participation for all stakeholders.
  • Celebrating success. Showcasing leading practice through case studies and a national award encouraging welcoming efforts.
  • Standard and Accreditation. Setting the National Standard for cultural diversity and inclusion policy and practice in Australian workplaces.


  • Develop and pilot the Welcoming Workplaces initiative with a select group of businesses in Local Government Areas that are members of Welcoming Cities.
  • Develop, test, and socialise the Welcoming Workplaces Standard
  • Assess the workplaces participating in the pilot project against the Standard
  • Promote the initiative to other workplaces, and grow the network

Each participating workplace is:

  • involved in the development of the Welcoming Workplaces Standard and associated training, assessment and certification tools
  • formally recognised as a founding partner of the Welcoming Workplaces initiative and Standard
  • assessed, certified, and promoted as one of the first Welcoming Workplaces in Australia

Benchmarking the “S” in ESG

The rapid ascent of sustainability on the global agenda is driving the world toward a new set of priorities. In the next five years, investments seeking to impact environmental, social and governance (ESG) terms are estimated to double. How can a business manage its relationships with its workforce, the societies in which it operates, and the political environment? This is the central question behind the “S” in ESG — the social aspect of sustainable business.

Because reporting standards are not as clearly drawn for “S” as they are for “E” and “G,” businesses have the freedom to report their social impact as they wish. The downside is that they can struggle to articulate what they can and cannot do for their customers, employees, suppliers, and the communities in which they operate. Consequently, they can lose faith and trust—among employees and customers alike—when their actions are perceived to fall short of expectations.

A Workplace Standard

The Welcoming Workplaces Standard supports Australian businesses and their communities in advancing Australia as a welcoming, prosperous, and cohesive nation. The Standard is vital as Australia strives to deliver inclusive employment, job security, and sustainable wage growth to reignite productivity and develop a workforce with the skills to advance industries necessary for our communities to prosper and thrive. The Welcoming Workplaces Standard will be a peer-reviewed, leading practice resource that enables a business to:

  • bridge policy and practice gaps and Increase the impact of cultural diversity and inclusion initiatives across the organisation;
  • develop a positive and welcoming reputation;
  • support the development of culturally safe strategies that promote well-being for employees and customers of diverse cultural and racial backgrounds;
  • provide a mechanism to plan for learning, improvement, and change; and,
  • assess progress over time.

An Accreditation Portal will facilitate assessment and accreditation as a Welcoming Workplace. This secure, user-friendly online system provides each institution with a dashboard and an iterative process.

To join the Welcoming Workplaces pilot, a business needs to:

1. Commit to the project’s objectives and participate for the duration of the pilot
2. Identify a primary point of contact for Welcoming Workplaces in the business
3. Establish an internal stakeholder committee to provide advice and consider the application of the Welcoming Workplaces Standard in the business
4. Contribute $10,000 towards the project costs (this includes the option for founding members to become recognised as one of the first accredited Welcoming Workplaces).
5. Participate in online meetings/workshops to provide feedback on the draft Welcoming Workplaces Standard and further revisions
6. Test and socialise the Welcoming Workplaces Standard in the workplace

For further information, or to join Welcoming Workplaces, please contact:

Ken Dachi
Coordinator, Welcoming Workplaces


For further information, please contact:

Ken Dachi
Coordinator, Welcoming Workplaces