An NDIS workforce for our diverse community - free workshops

CultureReady helps disability service providers work more effectively with people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

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Why does my organisation need CultureReady?

An estimated 23% of the Australian population are from a CALD background according to the National Disability Insurance Scheme's (NDIS) definition of cultural and linguistic diversity. The available evidence indicates that people from CALD backgrounds have rates of disability, and profound or severe disability, similar to the rest of the Australian population. (Still Outside the Tent, October 2018). 

People with disability from CALD backgrounds use disability services at only about a half to one-third of the rate of people born in Australia. (Still Outside the Tent, October 2018).

As of March 2020, only 9.1% of nationally approved NDIS plans were for people from CALD backgrounds, well below the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) expected 21%. (NDIS quarterly reports to the COAG Disability Reform Council).

When it comes to accessing and maintaining disability services and supports that are culturally appropriate, people from CALD backgrounds experience multiple layers of disadvantage, including language barriers, social stigma, lack of culturally responsive services, a distrust of government agencies, unfamiliarity with the service system, and a lack of awareness of their entitlements and available supports. 

CultureReady will upskill your workforce to provide quality services and culturally appropriate supports that participants from CALD backgrounds want and need.

What is CultureReady?

Our CultureReady workshops are free workshops aiming to provide culturally responsive services for disability service providers (NDIS registered or those intending to seek NDIS registration in the next 18 months) across metropolitan and regional locations in NSW, Queensland and Victoria.

We provide on-request training for your organisation and public calendar bookings. Calendar bookings are updated periodically. Keep an eye out for new calendar bookings throughout the year.

Our workshops

Fundamentals of culturally responsive practice in the disability context

This workshop explores the role of cultural beliefs and values, unconscious bias and different cultural explanatory models of disability when working with participants and colleagues.

People from CALD backgrounds experience multiple barriers when accessing disability services. Culturally responsive practice training is a reflective process which will help participants gain an insight into their own culture, behaviours and organisational practices to make their services more accessible and avoid creating service related barriers.

This one-day workshop will build participants' capability to be more responsive and confident when working with culturally diverse individuals and families. It will help participants gain a better understanding of how other people’s culture informs their world view and therefore their understanding of disability and the service system. It will assist participants to communicate effectively, build trust and provide quality services to CALD service users.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this training participants will be able to:

  • Reflect on their own cultural identities, beliefs and values
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the intersection of living with a disability and coming from a culturally and linguistically diverse background
  • Recognise different explanatory models
  • Identify the impact of refugee experiences on a person living with a disability and their families
  • Incorporate person centred principles with a trauma-informed approach and culturally responsive practice

Target audience

This workshop is designed for all NDIS workers from reception staff to service staff and management.

Engaging CALD communities

This workshop will assist you in planning and implementing an engagement process for the communities you work with.

A key reason why CALD communities do not access disability services at the same rate as the broader population is that they are often not aware of the services that exist or what their entitlements are under the NDIS. Service providers therefore cannot rely on people from culturally diverse backgrounds walking through the door, but instead need to have targeted strategies in order to engage and build relationships with CALD communities.

This workshop will look at strategies for capacity building with a particular focus on enablers to enhance service accessibility and minimise barriers experienced by CALD individuals and families.

Learning outcomes

At completion of this training participants will be able to:

  • Identify the cultural diversity in their service catchment area
  • Understand common barriers to engaging CALD communities
  • Implement effective strategies to improve access and use of disability services for CALD communities
  • Understand the available assets, resources and access points to better connect with and support culturally diverse communities

Target audience

This workshop is designed for NDIS service provider staff including frontline workers, team leaders and managers.

Working with language services

This workshop will assist you to work effectively with language services and build skills and confidence in knowing when and how to use interpreters.

We live in a vibrant multicultural community, with one in four Australians born overseas. The available evidence indicates that people from CALD backgrounds have rates of disability similar to the rest of the Australian population.

This half-day workshop will assist participants to utilise the skills of a professional interpreter in order to effectively engage and communicate with linguistically diverse communities and create more culturally responsive and inclusive workplaces.

Ensuring services are accessible to people from diverse linguistic backgrounds is a key priority area of the NDIS Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Strategy 2018.

The workshop will provide useful tips and practice considerations covering a broad range of issues such as understanding the availability of interpreting services under the NDIS; how to evaluate the need for an interpreter; how to prepare for, and debrief after an interpreting session; identifying common barriers to good communication and understanding the roles of the various parties during the interpreting session; and including the professional interpreter, the service provider and the consumer.

Learning outcomes

At completion of this training participants will be able to:

  • Understand the benefits of using a professional interpreter
  • Assess when and in what situations to use a professional interpreter
  • Feel more confident when using a professional interpreter
  • Explore knowledge and skills needed when working with a professional interpreter
  • Discuss different practice implications when working with children and when using Auslan interpreters
  • Identify the impact that refugee experience and trauma may have on a person in an interpreting situation

Target audience

This workshop is designed for NDIS disability service provider workers including frontline workers and supervisors who work directly with or provide services to individuals and families from linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce

This workshop explores key areas to consider at the organisational, team and individual level when building a diverse and inclusive workforce.

It is well-documented that diversity brings multiple benefits at a number of different levels for an organisation. Having a culturally diverse workforce attracts specific skills, knowledge and new perspectives, builds connection and trust with communities, and draws service users from CALD backgrounds. The NDIS Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Strategy 2018 highlights that having a diverse workforce is an effective strategy to help organisations respond to the needs of people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

To attract and retain CALD workers, organisations need to look beyond the traditional recruitment channels and consciously adopt targeted and flexible approaches as well as build supportive and inclusive workplaces.

Learning outcomes

At completion of this training participants will be able to:

  • Understand the strengths and benefits of cultural diversity in the workplace
  • Identify some of the barriers faced by CALD people when applying for work
  • Recruit purposefully by considering your business needs, the skills and strengths you want to attract, and the needs of CALD communities
  • Identify a variety of recruitment strategies to attract CALD workers
  • Identify practices to support and retain CALD workers

Target audience

This workshop is designed for people that work in the area of human resources or are involved in recruitment practices.


Depending on your organisation’s needs, you can choose some or all of the modules for your onsite booking.

Why choose us?

Our CultureReady workshops are grounded in SSI’s experience:

Our trainers

CultureReady trainers are a multidisciplinary team with a wealth of frontline experience in the CALD sector and personal lived experience working in diverse environments. Our trainers undergo regular professional development to ensure consistency of delivery and quality improvement.

Benefits you will take back with you

  • Enhanced service delivery to CALD participants
  • Ability to recruit and retain high performing staff from diverse backgrounds
  • Market growth through increasing accessibility to a diverse participant base
  • Staff who can provide consistent high quality, respectful and culturally responsive services
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Improved staff satisfaction

Arrangements during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 restrictions we are delivering an adapted version of our face-to-face training online. 

We will keep reviewing the situation and aim to have face-to-face training once we are certain that it is safe to do so. Keep an eye on this webpage for updates. 

Training calendar

View our current training sessions:

Fundamentals of culturally responsive practice in the disability context

Wednesday 15 July, 9:30am - 12:30pm

Thursday 16 July, 1pm - 4pm

Wednesday 29 July, 9:30am - 12:30pm

Working with language services

Wednesday 22 July, 10am - 12pm

Thursday 23 July, 1pm - 3pm

Thursday 30 July, 10am - 12pm

Contact us for training for your workplace

To enquire about in-house online training for your organisation, get in touch with us via the form below, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0402 919 566.

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If you know of someone who would benefit from this free training, please share this information with them. This information is also available to download in our brochure

CultureReady is proudly supported by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.