The Changing Face of Australia


Our former and much missed colleague Connie Donato-Hunt recently wrote a feature article on diversity for the May 2015 edition of Research News, published by the Australian Market and Social Research Society.

Connie argues that mainstream Australia is predominantly multicultural, and while representing diversity remains a key challenge, the industry needs to re-think the design of research projects beyond dealing with diversity as a special “sub-group” in the community.

A better understanding of, and engagement with, diversity is crucial if we are to deliver consumer insights that truly reflect contemporary Australia.
‘Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) research can no longer be limited to four major language groups, as with each passing Census the number of languages spoken and number of different countries of birth increases dramatically.
While difficult to access, it is possible to achieve inclusive and meaningful research engagement through purposeful research design.
It is increasingly important to take a more holistic view of how CALD applies to each research context. While the inclusion of the most common language groups is often an appropriate solution, additional considerations also need to be taken into account.
These include the value of targeting those with low English language proficiency or newly arrived communities, It is often also important to further segment the audience, for example by country of birth or religious affiliation for Arabic-speaking communities…
The meaningful inclusion of CALD almost always requires multi-lingual researches, removing the need for interpreters in the research process, facilitating natural and open communications as well as reducing previously prohibitive costs for conducting multi-lingual research.

The May edition of Research News (Vol 32, No. 4) is available for members only on the AMSRS homepage: Please contact us if you’d like us to send you the full article.