Featured artist: Shannon Crees

Cultural and linguistic diversity

Featured artist: Shannon Crees
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Cultural and linguistic diversity

Marrickville Council's commitment to cultural diversity

Marrickville Council has a long-standing commitment to multiculturalism and cultural diversity. Being committed to cultural diversity is no longer simply a matter of celebrating different cultures by attending a local food fair; the challenge now is to find the optimal balance between respecting diverse religious and cultural traditions and ensuring community harmony and cohesiveness. The key to achieving this balance rests with Council and the community working in partnership to develop a better understanding of the common concerns we all share, while comprehending the added complexity of language, religious and cultural traditions.

Promoting harmony also means addressing inequities in service delivery by advocating the particular needs of emerging and established communities. Council has a mandate to advocate on behalf of its residents—especially residents who speak a language other than English, those who are making the transition during settlement, and our ageing migrant community—to ensure access and equity to services. These include services provided or funded by mainstream Commonwealth and State government agencies as well as by Council.

In local and practical ways Council can assist culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups gain access to the economic and social opportunities Australia has to offer. Allowing people to hold on to their language and cultural practices actually prepares them for a smoother resettlement process.

Marrickville Council supports Multifaith Roundtable

The Marrickville Multifaith Roundtable is a collaborative partnership between faith leaders aimed at providing leadership, information, guidance and inspiration to the local community on matters related to faith and the benefits of interfaith collaboration, comprehension and dialogue.

For more on the Multifaith Roundtable, click here to download an information sheet.


Of Marrickville residents, 55% were born in Australia and 34% were born overseas (in 34 of the 35 places listed in the Census table), with 10% not saying. The proportion born in Australia was 5% less than Sydney, and 2% more than in 2001. The birthplaces that increased most as a proportion of the population over the previous five years were SE Europe, up by 0.2%, and the USA, up 0.1%. The birthplace which was more common in Marrickville than in Sydney was Greece with 2.9% more of the population. Vietnam was also larger (1.8% more), as was New Zealand (0.8% more) and Thailand (0.3% more). 

The main overseas birthplaces, and the number and proportion of residents born there, were:

  • United Kingdom - 2,950 or 4.1%;
  • Greece - 2,613 or 3.6%;
  • Vietnam - 2,388 or 3.3%;
  • New Zealand - 1,964 or 2.7%;
  • China - 1,341 or 1.9%;
  • Lebanon - 869 or 1.2%.

Languages spoken at home

In 2006, 58% of Marrickville's residents spoke English at home, which was 4% more than in 2001, and 6% less than in Sydney. While 9% did not say what they spoke, 33% spoke another language at home (3% more than in Sydney), including 33 of the 35 most common languages listed in the Census report.

The main non-English languages spoken in Marrickville homes, and the number and proportion of residents speaking them, were:

  • Greek - 4,608 or 6.4%;
  • Vietnamese - 2,946 or 4.1%;
  • Arabic - 2,065 or 2.9%;
  • Portuguese - 1,750 or 2.4%;
  • Cantonese - 1,437 or 2.0%.