Cross-Cultural Training and Consultancy

Foster greater curiosity and confidence in your team by building Cross-Cultural Responsiveness to improve your work with multicultural communities.

Upcoming training sessions

Serving multicultural communities – customer-service training

Our Cross-Cultural Training was developed specifically for reception staff. It provides practical tips on how to be culturally responsive in the presentation of office spaces as well as in reception liaison to ensure everyone feels comfortable and accepted.

  • Fitzroy
    Date: Tuesday 29 September, 2020
    Time: 9.30am to 12.30pm – please arrive 15 minutes early to settle in
    Venue: Father Tucker’s Room, Brotherhood of St Laurence Head Office,
    67 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy (take trams 11, 86 or 96 from Parliament train station)
    Please reserve your place       

Price (half-day): $130 (BSL staff), $162 (NGO staff), $193 (government staff).

Working with families of refugee and migrant backgrounds

Join us for an interactive full-day training session with practical tips for practitioners working with individuals and families of refugee and migrant backgrounds.

  • Fitzroy
    Date: Tuesday 21 April 2020
    Time: 9.30am to 4.30pm – please arrive 15 minutes early to settle in
    Venue: Father Tucker’s Room, Brotherhood of St Laurence Head Office,
    67 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy (take trams 11, 86 or 96 from Parliament train station)
    Please reserve your place

Price (full-day): $216 (BSL staff), $270 (NGO staff), $321 (government staff).

Community and union organising with workers and communities of refugee and migrant backgrounds

We offer this interactive cross-cultural responsiveness training to provide practical strategies to improve your cultural awareness and knowledge. 

This will be based on training undertaken with Victorian Trades Hall Council.

  • Fitzroy
    Date: Friday 3 April 2020
    Time: 9.30am-2.30pm. Please arrive 15 minutes early to settle in.
    Venue: Father Tucker’s Room, Brotherhood of St Laurence Head Office,
    67 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065 (take trams 11, 86 or 96 from Parliament train station)
    Please reserve your place

Price (3/4 day): $203 (Union/NGO staff), $226 (govt staff).

NEW COURSE - Fostering Multiculturally Inclusive Workplaces

All of us have a role in fostering an inclusive workplace culture, particularly when we have colleagues of refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds experiencing challenges with their first experience of Australian workplace culture. Recognising diversity brings great benefits and challenges in workplaces, we’ll provide an understanding of the refugee experience, how this may manifest in the workplace, our own cultural biases and tips to overcome common misunderstandings as well as navigating cross-cultural communication. All maximising teamwork and cohesion to foster a positive and productive work environment. We'll bring our learnings from years of preparing, placing and supporting CALD jobseekers and their employers.

  • Fitzroy
    Date: Wednesday 15th April 2020 
    Time: 9.30am-12.30pm
    Venue: Father Tucker’s Room, Brotherhood of St Laurence Head Office,
    67 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065 (take trams 11, 86 or 96 from Parliament train station)
    Please reserve your place
  • Fitzroy
    Date: Wednesday 17th June 2020  
    Time: 9.30am-12.30pm
    Venue: Father Tucker’s Room, Brotherhood of St Laurence Head Office,
    67 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065 (take trams 11, 86 or 96 from Parliament train station)
    Please reserve your place

Price (half-day): $138 (BSL staff), $172 (NGO staff), $204 (government/corporate staff).

Please note that as BSL’s Cross-Cultural Training is recognised as a Social Traders certified enterprise, this training will help relevant business’ meet government procurement social enterprise targets.

Cross-Cultural Responsiveness Training

Over the past 60 years, the Brotherhood of St Laurence has developed specialist expertise in working with individuals and families from refugee and migrant backgrounds, and those seeking asylum. Our Cross-Cultural Consultancy Team offers half-day or full-day training programs – tailored to the learning needs of participants – to build the skills and confidence of staff and volunteers working with people with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. We are passionate about building the capacity of our sector colleagues, as well as employers, for cross-cultural responsiveness by offering training in this area.

Our interactive training workshops empower people working with CALD individuals by equipping them with:

  • frameworks through which to reflect on one’s own culture and other cultures
  • an understanding of the impact of the settlement experience on new arrivals
  • practical strategies to address barriers and misunderstandings faced by, and harness strengths of, CALD individuals
  • increased confidence to work with diverse communities.

Our training courses can include the following modules:

  • Working with families and children – empowers and supports participants to work with CALD families in ways that foster engagement and participation. The module can be tailored to have an early years focus.
  • Working with young people – focuses on the needs, challenges and strengths of young people. The module can be tailored to focus on navigating transitions to employment.
  • Working with people with disability and the NDIS – focuses on cultural conceptions of disability and the challenges posed by the NDIS for people with disability of CALD backgrounds.
  • Serving Multicultural Communities – Reception Staff Training – provides practical tips on how to be culturally responsive in the presentation of your office spaces as well as through reception liaison to ensure everyone feels comfortable and accepted.
  • Leisure Environment – consider how the migrant and refugee experience manifests in the Leisure Centre environment and provide practical strategies to staff so they have increased confidence to effectively engage with their multicultural customer base
  • Volunteers working with CALD youth/individuals/families – builds an appreciation for the crucial role volunteers play in supporting families during their settlement journey, and provides tips and advice on navigating challenges that volunteers can face with CALD families. The module can be tailored for those working with individuals and youth.
  • Mentoring: harnessing the strengths of disadvantaged young people – builds awareness of the reality of poverty in Australia and how it manifests and impacts on people’s daily lives, as well as the do’s and don’ts of mentoring when working with CALD communities.
  • Diversity and inclusion – fosters an awareness of diversity and inclusion amongst staffing peers, covering multicultural, indigenous, disability, sexuality and gender identity, as well as providing proactive and practice strategies for supervisors on how to harness the strengths of their diverse workforce.
  • Anti-Racism Training – workshop explores ‘reflexive anti-racism’ and engages staff in critical thinking about the prevalence of exclusion and discrimination on the basis of race creates a common understanding of both their own and others’ behaviour, and internal motivation to challenge social conditioning. A full day workshop clarifies the practical steps people managers need to take to implement Cultural Safety and provides an experiential understanding of unconscious bias and the different forms of racism and discrimination - obvious/subtle and conscious/socialised – as well as how to address disrespectful or defensive behaviours, empower staff in cultural safety, support and enable self-determination, as well as drive behavioural and systemic change.


For government and corporate employers, we have developed the following modules:

  • Module 1: Engaging and Being Inclusive in the Multicultural Marketplace    
  • Module 2a and 2b: Fostering Multicultural and Inclusive Workplaces
    • Module 2a: for Staff/ Peers
    • Module 2b: for Supervisors Only
  • Module 3: Fostering Disadvantage-Aware Workplaces – 3 hour session                            

These will help positively harness diversity in a workplace and foster:

  • inclusion of people from diverse communities
  • recognition and acceptance of differences to break down engagement barriers
  • greater collaboration and hence lead to a more inclusive, productive and positive team environment, owing to the arising awareness, cohesion and reception to all.

Download Cross-Cultural Training - Corporate & Government Employer Offerings (693KB PDF)


Local governments have commissioned us to deliver the following modules to their local community groups and organisations (e.g. senior citizens, sporting organisations etc.) or staff:

  • Complying with “cultural safety” under the DHHS Child Safe Standards
  • Increasing and being more inclusive of CALD communities
  • Leisure centres effectively engaging with CALD attendees
  • Preparing CALD jobseekers for job hunting in Australia.

Workshops are available in Melbourne, regional Victoria and/or nationally, and are suitable for not-for-profit, government and private sector participants.

To arrange tailored training at your work site or request a proposal in response to your needs, please contact us directly at xcrt(at)

Download our flyer.

Current clients

We provide training and consultancy services to a range of NGOs, local councils, State Government departments and others. Some of these are:

  • NGOs – such as Anglicare, Berry St Family Services, Launch Housing, Uniting Care, Lifeline and North West Integrated Family Services/Child First Alliance
  • Local government – such as Banyule, Boroondara, Greater Dandenong and Port Phillip councils
  • State government – such as Small Business Victoria, Department of Education and Training (DET) and Office of Public Prosecutions
  • Other – such as Outlook Environmental Services, Victoria University, Apprenticeship Employment Network, Victorian Trades Hall Council and Yarra Valley Water.

Other Cross-Cultural Consultancy services

Our Cross-Cultural Consultancy Team has developed training and consultancy services that specialise in helping organisations understand barriers to engagement. They have also developed services to help maximise the relevance of, responsiveness to and engagement in their services with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. We can assist with:

  • Understanding barriers for CALD participants
  • Identifying practice and program issues with practice principles, forms that are easier to understand, or training to build capacity
  • Providing guidance on addressing systemic issues and policy reforms
  • Advising on raising the profile of your service through tailored promotional approaches
  • Developing community engagement strategies
  • Culturally tailoring materials and services.

We do this via undertaking:

  • CALD individual/community and service provider one-to-one and focus-group consultations
  • Providing literature and/or desktop reviews of sector best practice
  • Undertaking collaborative work on projects while building the capacity of your team, so that the knowledge and networks remain in your team to support future projects.

We aim to foster the development of inclusive policies and programs to maximise access and equity for CALD communities. This reflects our desire to build the capacity of government and the broader community to empower people of refugee and migrant backgrounds so they can be full participants in our society in our quest for greater social and economic inclusion.

Consultancy in Action – NDIS ECEI Building Cultural Responsiveness Project 

The Cross-Cultural Consultancy Team has been engaged by the Brotherhood’s NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) program to ensure the service maximises cultural responsiveness and increases the participation of children and families from CALD backgrounds. This enables the service to better reflect the diversity of their local catchment area. We are undertaking community consultations with target CALD communities, community leaders and service providers to so that we can co-design culturally appropriate tools, develop a CALD community engagement plan and conduct training to build the cultural responsiveness of ECEI staff.


Consultancy in ActionImproving CALD Kinder Engagement (ICALDKE) Project

The Victorian Government’s Department of Education and Training (DET) has commissioned BSL to engage with four refugee and migrant communities (Afghan, Arabic Speaking – Iraqi / Syrian born, Assyrian / Chaldean and Burmese) to understand community attitudes and experiences concerning their engagement and/or absence from funded kindergarten programs. 

We will seek to understand specific concerns or challenges for each community in addition to barriers or rationales. These recommendations aim to inform government policies and practices in this area. We will also incorporate learnings and produce a best practice guide to embed future practice changes across the early childhood education sector. 

Social Traders certified training

As a not-for-profit organisation, BSL’s training is recognised as a Social Traders certified enterprise. We can help you meet government procurement social enterprise targets.

Contact us

To find out more or to book your Cross-Cultural Responsiveness Training, contact:

Aziz Cooper
Acting Cross-Cultural Consultancy Coordinator
Phone:  03 9422 5668
Email: xcrt(at)

Or to seek proposals for a tailored training package and/or to make inquiries about consultancy opportunities, please contact:

Ms Hutch Hussein
Senior Manager, Diversity Unit
Phone: 0438 507 103
Email: hutchhussein(at)

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The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
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The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

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