Culture and heritage

Meet the world for Cultural Diversity Week in Melbourne

1 March 2023

Did you know our municipality is home to people from 160 cultural backgrounds, who speak 150 languages and practise 80 faiths? This includes our city’s Aboriginal people who represent the oldest continuing living culture in the world.

Fifty-five per cent of Melbourne’s residents are born overseas, making us one of the most multicultural cities in the world – and a welcoming, inclusive and vibrant place to live, study, work and play.

Celebrate Cultural Diversity Week by meeting the world right here in Melbourne.

Meet Seema Misra-Thakur, from India

‘I moved to Melbourne in 2011 and it has embraced us with the variety it has to offer – art, music, excellent food,’ Seema said.

‘Each culture adds colour and vibrancy to the city’s tapestry, and this is showcased at the many cultural festivals and events throughout the year.’

For Seema, Melbourne offers the best of the best.

‘After having lived in and experienced some great cities – Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, Chicago and many more – I often tell friends and family that Melbourne gives me a little bit of all the world’s best cities. I love living here.’

Seema out and about in Melbourne

Meet Rozilah Kamarudin, from Malaysia

Melbourne was voted the friendliest city in the world in 2022, and our residents agree.

‘I have never felt more welcomed, accepted and included,’ Rozilah said.

‘In Melbourne, you’re fully embraced in a way I have not seen anywhere else in the world, and I’ve travelled extensively.

‘I love getting together with people in my neighbourhood to share my culture through Malay food, arts and crafts.’

For Rozilah, Melbourne is a family affair.

‘I first came to Australia to study when I was 16. I loved it so much, I sent my three daughters to study here in Melbourne,’ she said.

‘When my eldest graduated as a doctor and opted to live here, I decided to rekindle the wonderful Australian way of life I had experienced in the 80s.’

A person standing in front of a graffitied wall
Rozilah Kamarudin exploring Melbourne

Meet Carina Parisella, whose family come from Italy

For Carina, Melbourne is all about culinary connections.

‘I love that we can find any cuisine on any street in Melbourne,’ Carina said.

‘It’s incredibly multicultural and a real feast for the tastebuds and senses.

‘Our family get-togethers embrace and celebrate our Italian heritage – there’s always pasta, it’s loud, colourful and the vino is always on point.

‘We love celebrating our culture in Carlton, along Lygon Street, enjoying a coffee and gelato.

‘I love the Melbourne community who come from many different walks of life, experiences and cultural backgrounds. It gives me different perspectives and reminds me to always be curious, open and kind.’

A person in a cafe holding a latte in their hand and smiling.
Carina Parisella enjoying a coffee on Lygon Street

Connect with our multicultural community

Celebrate the many communities that call Melbourne home and embrace your culture in our city this year:

  • Get involved – Find out what’s on near you this Cultural Diversity Week.
  • Be an ally – Deepen your understanding of Aboriginal Melbourne.
  • Visit our Multicultural Hub – Meet, work, share and learn in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Explore Melbourne with What’s On – Find out what cultural festivals are coming up and discover the latest restaurants offering dishes from around the world.
  • Volunteer – Make new friends and gain new cultural experiences with a backstage pass to some of our biggest events, programs and festivals.

Share this story

You may also like
Making space in the arts for people with complex mental health

Making space in the arts for people with complex mental health

See mental health in a shining new light as diverse Melbourne artists with lived experience take on comedy, theatre, cabaret and music this World Schizophrenia Day and beyond. Schizy Inc is a world-leading Australian arts organisation run by, and for, people with...

Concrete proof of fame

Concrete proof of fame

Melbourne’s rarely-seen ‘footpath of fame’ has another shot at the spotlight in a new exhibition at City Gallery.  In the 1970s, as miniskirts and long sideburns appeared in the city streets, scores of stars left their hand- and footprints in wet cement at a...

Power up: how cultural awareness helps reconciliation

Power up: how cultural awareness helps reconciliation

Find out how a guided walk along the Birrarung can help us power up the city's cultural awareness, as we prepare our sixth Reconciliation Action Plan. When Wiradjuri woman Sharina Ladharam walks into a room, she’s looking for signs. More specifically, signs that show...

Eid at Queen Victoria Market promotes peace, love and compassion

Eid at Queen Victoria Market promotes peace, love and compassion

Your neighbours come from 160 cultural backgrounds, speak 150 languages and practise 80 faiths. In fact, 55 per cent of people living in the City of Melbourne were born overseas, making Melbourne one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Community leaders...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the City of Melbourne by subscribing to the Melbourne newsletter.

You have successfully subscribed!