Intercultural City


City of Ballarat's intercultural ambassadors

What is the City of Ballarat doing to make the city more culturally diverse?

Promoting social inclusion and wellbeing among Ballarat’s migrant community is a key feature of our Intercultural City Strategic Plan 2018-2021.

We also promote and support many migrant morning teas, a Multicultural Information Place at the Ballarat Library, Interfaith activities, engagement with our Sister City Inagawa and Friendship Cities Ainaro in East Timor and Kunshan in China, and the coordination of community cultural events, such as:

  • Harmony Fest
  • Cultural Diversity Week
  • NAIDOC Week
  • Refugee Week.

Our ongoing work to make the city a more culturally diverse and welcoming place has resulted in Ballarat becoming the first city in Australia to join the Council of Europe’s Intercultural Cities Network.


NAIDOC Week celebrations are held each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated by our Indigenous communities and Australians from all walks of life. 

We may all come from different backgrounds and cultures, but as a community we share the same schools, businesses, work places, recreation spaces and services. Ballarat, as an intercultural city, builds on the concept of all of us living together in a vibrant, diverse and harmonious community.

Ballarat Harmony Fest

Image of Harmony Fest logo

Since it was launched in 2010, Harmony Fest has become the City of Ballarat’s vibrant celebration of diversity.

Harmony Fest wraps around Harmony Day, the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which is celebrated on 21 March. The day encourages Australians to come together to reflect on and celebrate the many cultures that create our great nation.

Harmony Fest 2021 will be celebrated from 12 March to 28 March and is jam-packed with events for the whole family.

Celebrate Harmony Fest with a virtual Flag raising on Monday 16 March at 10.30am.

 This year's Gala event will be held virtually on Friday 26 March from 7pm.

Download a copy of the program or find Harmony Fest events on Facebook.

Reconciliation Action Plan

View the Reconciliation Action Plan 2019-21.

The plan is an important tool in creating respectful communities, social inclusion and equality, and strengthening the ability of Ballarat to be a safe, healthy, connected and respectful place to live.

What is the Intercultural Employment Pathways Program?

The Intercultural Employment Program (IEP) aims to enhance social inclusion, employment and education pathways for culturally and linguistically diverse men, women and youth.

This program supports participants with training and personal development opportunities to be work and study-ready in Australia.

Want more information?

Call our IEP Project Officer on 5320 5180.

I would like to be involved in the Intercultural Ambassador Program?

If you are from a multicultural, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island background and want to make a positive contribution to our local community you can apply to be a part of the Intercultural Ambassador Program.

This program aims to enhance community awareness and social acceptance in Ballarat, foster leadership within multicultural and Indigenous communities, and highlight the positive contributions migrants and Indigenous Australians make to our community.

Ambassadors are appointed every three years, with recruitment for our newest program anticipated in 2021.

Call our Cultural Partnerships team on 5320 5853.

Can you tell me more about your international relations?

We have strong international links with Japan, China and East Timor which have become very successful.

As a city we have exchanged and developed significant trade and tourism opportunities with these cities, helping ordinary people from different countries meet and learn from one another and provide the key to the door for future developments.

We signed a Sister City Agreement with the Town of Inagawa in August 1988, committing to organise and facilitate educational and cultural exchanges, as well as to investigate economic development opportunities between the two municipalities. 

We also have a Friendship City Relationship with the Ainaro, a district of East Timor aimed at strengthening the communities of the district through initiatives to build self-sufficiency among the people of Ainaro

Call our Cultural Partnerships team on 5320 5831 for more information about our international relations.

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