All Graduates
All Graduates | 2 Dec 2023

CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse)

CALD stands for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities. This term is used to refer to groups of people within a society who come from various cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and religious backgrounds. CALD communities encompass individuals and families with diverse heritage, languages, traditions, and customs.

The CALD community in New Zealand includes people from Maori and Pacific Islander backgrounds, as well as immigrants and refugees from countries such as China, India, the Philippines, Korea, South Africa, the Middle East, and many others. These communities bring diverse languages, traditions, religions, and cultural practices to the country.

Discover how advancements in technology are not only breaking down language barriers but also fostering inclusion and empowerment within CALD communities.

Language Diversity in New Zealand

New Zealand boasts remarkable linguistic diversity, encompassing over 160 distinct languages spoken across the nation. Auckland, in particular, stands out as one of the globe’s most culturally diverse cities, witnessing the daily use of over 150 languages among its populace, representing a mosaic of more than 100 ethnicities. This rich tapestry of languages is the product of immigration from various European, Asian, and Pacific Island nations, each contributing a multitude of linguistic traditions.

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All Graduates NZ Articles - Language Diversity in New Zealand

As per the 2018 census, New Zealand counted 946,275 multilingual individuals, constituting 20.6% of respondents proficient in at least one language. The Auckland region stood at the forefront with 30.9%, closely followed by Wellington at 21.2%. While English and Te Reo Māori remain the most prevalent languages, Samoan, Hindi, Mandarin Chinese, French, and Cantonese boast significant speaker communities.

This diverse linguistic landscape mirrors New Zealand’s multicultural essence, offering opportunities for cultural exchange while simultaneously presenting the nation with unique challenges to embrace and support this varied linguistic tapestry.

LIME Multilingual Messaging System by All Graduates

The LIME Multilingual Messaging System by All Graduates serves as a pivotal tool in supporting Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities, addressing the critical need for effective communication across languages and cultural barriers.

Accessibility to essential services is crucial for CALD individuals, and the LIME system plays a significant role in ensuring that they can readily access information and engage with service providers in their preferred languages. By offering real-time multilingual communication capabilities, LIME enables seamless interactions between service providers, institutions, and CALD communities, regardless of language differences.

All Graduates NZ Articles - LIME Multilingual Messaging

This innovative system facilitates clear and accurate communication in various sectors, including healthcare, emergency services, government agencies, education, and more. CALD individuals can benefit from immediate access to interpreters, translated materials, and support services through the LIME platform, ensuring that they receive accurate information and assistance tailored to their cultural and linguistic needs.

Moreover, LIME enhances efficiency by streamlining communication processes, reducing potential misunderstandings, and enabling faster responses to inquiries or emergencies within CALD communities. Its user-friendly interface and versatile features empower service providers to deliver culturally sensitive and inclusive support, fostering trust and collaboration with CALD individuals.

Ultimately, the LIME Multilingual Messaging System stands as a bridge that narrows communication gaps, promotes inclusivity, and empowers CALD communities by ensuring equitable access to vital services and information in their preferred languages. All Graduates’ commitment to facilitating effective multilingual communication contributes significantly to building stronger and more connected communities.

Revolutionizing Language Services: The Power of Technology

Advancements in technology play an indispensable role in elevating language services, fostering seamless communication, and breaking linguistic barriers. The modern landscape of language services technology has evolved significantly to meet the demands of a globalized world, amplifying the presence and impact of businesses across diverse cultural settings.

Technology plays a crucial role in assisting Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities in various ways:

1. Language Accessibility

Technology enables the development of translation apps, multilingual websites, and software that facilitate communication in diverse languages. These tools bridge the language gap, allowing CALD individuals to access information, services, and resources in their preferred language.

2. Telehealth and Telecommunications

Telehealth services and video conferencing platforms equipped with language interpretation features allow CALD individuals to communicate with healthcare providers, counselors, or government agencies in their native languages. This ensures better access to healthcare and essential services.

3. Education and E-Learning

Technology facilitates e-learning platforms with multilingual support, aiding CALD students in accessing educational resources and courses in their native languages. This promotes inclusive learning environments and equal educational opportunities.

4. Community Engagement

Social media and online forums create spaces for CALD communities to connect, share experiences, and access support networks. These platforms foster community engagement and enable the exchange of cultural knowledge and information.

5. Digital Access to Information

Online information repositories, government websites, and mobile applications offer multilingual interfaces and information, ensuring that CALD individuals have equitable access to important resources and services.

6. Employment Opportunities

Technology enables remote work, freelancing, and online job platforms, opening up employment opportunities for CALD individuals who might face language barriers in traditional workplace settings.

7. Cultural Preservation

Digital platforms aid in preserving and sharing cultural heritage, languages, and traditions of CALD communities, ensuring that these legacies are not lost over time.

This evolution witnesses a harmonious blend of human expertise and automated translation software, resulting in swift and accurate translations. This fusion has empowered companies with more precise interpretations delivered within shorter timeframes. Moreover, technology facilitates the consistent and precise translation of an array of materials—technical documents, software applications, eLearning courses, and product websites—in over 100 languages, catering to the requirements of prominent tech enterprises.

Language technology solutions encompass a wide array of tools such as computer-assisted translation (CAT), translation memory (TM) software, content management systems, translation project management systems, machine translation, and localization tools. Collectively, these tools significantly streamline the translation, localization, and management of foreign language content, enhancing efficiency and cost-effectiveness for businesses navigating global markets.

In essence, technology serves as a powerful tool to empower CALD communities by breaking down language barriers, improving access to essential services, fostering inclusivity, and facilitating cultural exchange in an increasingly interconnected world.

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Responding to language diversity in Auckland
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Literacy and numeracy in New Zealand: findings from the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey
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All Graduates
All Graduates | 8 Apr 2019

Australia’s population is booming, with migrants of all types coming to our shores from all corners of the globe. Whilst this makes for a vibrant and diverse society (not to mention an expansive list of takeaway food options), it has also introduced complexities in the operations of public and private sectors. A growing CALD population (possibly struggling with low literacy in their native language), regulatory, ethical and cultural obligations – all of these have made the simple, much less so.

One of the areas in which we are regularly called to engage with our clients is that of operational efficiency. We produce a copious number of reports and analyses for government departments and companies, describing the interface between organisations and non-English speaking clients. We are often the catalyst for the introduction of technologies to enhance this interface, and also to improve the underlying systems with which an organisation may facilitate that interface.

The LiME Multilingual Messaging system evolved from the need to decrease communication barriers, and improve operational efficiencies for businesses and organisations. It has been designed as a sophisticated but easy-to-use tool to facilitate engagement with non-English speaking customers and those with literacy challenges.


“From the moment a non-English speaking client walks into your office, the challenge you face is the balance between meeting their needs with the inherent cost and complexity of doing so.”


A few years back we were introduced to a multilingual telephone message line (IVR) thanks to a looming Australian Electoral Commission tender. This inelegant proposal planted the seed which we grew into a platform-agnostic messaging system. While the phrasing may be unfamiliar, in practice this is what you do every day – you send your messages on whichever communication platform is available, appropriate or convenient. Whether you are using the web, social media, chat apps or calling an information line, the platform is irrelevant. The ​message ​is the crucial component.

Through a continuous and innovative development process, and ongoing input from our clients (and a Melbourne appropriate volume of coffee consumption), LiME was developed to offer holistic solutions to organisations engaging with CALD groups without sacrificing operational efficiencies.


LiME multilingual messaging system
– it ain’t just a member of the citrus family

Extensive research has shown that language barriers cause anxiety and create obstacles for non-English speakers to both engage with society at large, and access services in general. We very often see that our increasingly information-driven economy results in increased workloads and reduced efficiencies when interpreters are utilised in one-way communications. Additionally language translation services, while fundamental to ensuring the proliferation of an equitable society, are not only impacted by low literacy rates among non-English speakers, but also among the general Australian population. In spite of this knowledge, it never occurred to us until we started engaging with our clients just how transformational our LiME system had the potential to be.


Technology offers many benefits to language services

We understand the importance of message parity. Whilst AI technologies such as Google translate and Siri are handy day-to-day tools, they are not adequate for use in business and government communications. We recently had this exact issue raised with us by one of our private school clients, as well as the Project Manager of a pilot DHS program. LiME addresses this issue by drastically reducing the risk of miscommunication while improving access to information. We are currently working with multiple organisations that are using this system to reduce the burden on language service teams when communicating repetitive messages, while simultaneously improving access to appropriate language communications for their increasingly diverse clients.

We consider LiME as an adjunct to interpreter services, offering improved efficiencies in one-way message delivery, prior to hand-off to an interpreter if it becomes necessary. We know anecdotally and through our own internal reviews that there are often issues in communication parity when involving interpreters for “real-time translation” of complicated language documents (medical, legal or statutory). Our clients consistently point towards LiME offering immense potential in resolving these issues.


“LiME utilises multi-platform technology to create meaninful, comprehensive communications where and when you need them. Discover how it can work for you.”


And some easy DIY fixes! (because who doesn’t like a little DIY?)

Ellias Appel
Ellias Appel | 4 Mar 2019

For effective communication it’s best to leave judgements, presumptions and assumptions at the door. For organisations and businesses this is exceedingly important when speaking with our culturally diverse, non-English speaking customers. Most of us are time poor, and our learned and habitual professional behaviours and social instincts may be hard to shake, but they generally serve us well. But just as our society has woken up over recent years to how these habits and behaviours may affect others who we interact with, it is equally important to include a consideration for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse customers in this re-examination.

Research suggests that non-English speakers are often left stranded, finding it difficult to access services like health and welfare, struggling to comprehend the jargon and terminology used by professionals. They are at a distinct disadvantage in the areas of health literacy and social cohesion as a consequence of their language disparities. There can also be cultural misfires (no, not everyone celebrates Christmas, and who’s New Year are we celebrating this month?), unwanted handshakes, misunderstood social conventions (unexpected double cheek kisses) and unintended confusion.

There is no doubt that taking some time to build awareness around the issues culturally diverse non-English speakers face will be invaluable to for you, and your organisation.


1 – Be Aware of Your Own Communication Style


Most service providers operate within the framework of their cultural ideology – which for most of us is primarily Anglo Australian. Within that framework, staff members bring individual value systems, beliefs and cultural habits. We are psychologically predisposed to consider those outside our “tribe” as the other, and according to Gestalt theory we tend towards the formation of stereotypes or archetypes.

In Gestalt Theory our brains group things together to make them easier to understand. This applies to people as well as shapes.

It is human nature for us to make assumptions about others based on the dominant cultural, social and behavioural traits that we and those around us exhibit. And this lends itself to a kind of shorthand communication style, in which waving someone away while you’re on a phone call is not taken personally. It is important to recognise that these communication habits may not be appropriate when interacting with those from diverse cultural backgrounds, or non-English speakers.

“It is important to be aware of your own values, beliefs, expectations and cultural practices, and consider how these impact on your responses, interactions and service provision to people from cultures different from your own.”

Queensland Department of Health.


More than how we speak, our communication style is a big contributing factor to how effectively we are engaging our clients. This includes more than just our speech (speed and tempo of delivery) and use of language (terminology, abbreviations and slang). It also extends to the handling of certain topics; for example illness, domestic violence or death may be discussed or thought of differently depending on your culture.

Be sure to take into consideration your client’s cultural sensitivities, and be particularly attuned to non-verbal communications such as body language. If they struggle to make eye contact, for example, this might be a mark of respect within their culture, as opposed to what one might assume is shyness or inhibition. You may need to vary your communication style depending on your client’s cultural background and / or English language proficiency. By taking a few extra moments with your non-English speaking client, you can ascertain whether it may be more useful to relay information via an audio messaging service like LiME, or use an interpreter.


2 –  Do Not Assume English Proficiency


There is evidence to suggest non-English speakers experience anxiety when attempting to communicate in English. This may manifest in a number of ways – from antisocial behaviour, to avoiding group activities, ultimately contributing to an overall sense of isolation. Imagine a non-native speaker surrounded by a group of doctors (already an intimidating situation) who are discussing a diagnosis and using complex terminology. The doctors may have assumed a high level of English proficiency based on prior interactions with the patient, but evidence indicates that the patient would be experiencing anxiety simply as a consequence of the complicated interaction, and this may obfuscate their ability to communicate effectively.

Conversely just because your client is smiling and nodding at what you’re saying doesn’t necessarily indicate full understanding, it may be a nervous act to imply competency rather than apprehension. A useful technique for ascertaining the need for an interpreter is to avoid asking questions that require a yes/no answer. Instead, pose questions that require sentence-based responses, or have them repeat information you have presented to them in their own words. This isn’t intended to embarrass them, but rather to illuminate if there is a crisis of comprehension.


3 – Don’t Equate English Skill with Intelligence


Poor language skills are not synonymous with a lack of intelligence. Your client may well have been a professional in their native country, or display a good degree of understanding of your services. Through engaging language services the potential for fruitful and useful conversation and problem-solving becomes possible.

Conversely common English phraseology might make little sense when translated, despite your client possessing a reasonable grasp of the English language. Different cultures have different norms or rituals in regard to things such as diet, hygiene and gender roles. Concepts such as ‘low fat diet’ and ‘high blood pressure’ might be completely perplexing, and direct translations might not display parity with your intended meaning. As an example, ‘hook-turns’ (a peculiar, tram friendly Melbourne invention) when put into Google Translate becomes ‘link turn’ in Arabic. This is just one situation where not utilising appropriate language services might cause an escalation of issues.

Sandals, pluggers, flip flops, thongs?

Ensure that your communications and messaging are engaging for your clients by seeking to enter into meaningful conversations.


4 – Expecting Competent Literacy in their Native Language is a Mistake


Poor literacy impacts more people than you might expect (14%-46% of Australians). Don’t presume that non-English speaking clients will be literate in their own language (if they even have a written language). It’s important to consider multiple channels when delivering information to your clients. Commonly used documents like info-brochures, FAQs, privacy statements and onboarding documents might be more effective when converted into audio.


“Multilingual messaging services such as LiME give you the flexibility to deliver pre-recorded audio to low literacy and non-English speaking clients across multiple communication channels”


Repurpose your communications to meet the needs of your clients, whether that means transforming your brochure into a telephone message line, or embedding your organisation’s contact details in a neat little audiogram that can be shared across social channels. Audio is an effective equaliser when it comes to catering for those with complex communication barriers.


5 – Failing to Involve an Interpreter


A number of Australian studies indicate that many service providers consider interpreting needs can be adequately met by bilingual family members or staff. Some estimates suggest that 20% of GPs do not consider a qualified interpreter is necessary to gain informed consent.

Some organisations may be concerned about privacy, and some clients may be concerned about interpreters having social connections within their community groups. It is for this reason that it is of particular importance to engage with interpreters and language service providers who adhere to strict industry ethical guidelines.


“We can help you best serve your non-English speaking and low literacy clients.”



  • Australia. Queensland Health. Queensland Health Language Services Policy [online] 2000 [cited July 2007]
  • Blennerhassett, J. & Hilbers, J. (2011). Medicine management in older people from non-English speaking backgrounds. Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research, 41(1), p. 35.
  • Friedman-Rhodes, E. & Hale, S. (2010). Teaching Medical Students to work with interpreters. The Journal of Specialised Translation, 14, p. 125.
  • Department of Health. (2010). Language services in health care policy consultations: discussion paper. Government of Western Australia: p. 10.