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Western Australian culturally and linguistically diverse across-government network (WACAN)

This across-government network was set up in 2004 as a forum for senior State Government officers in human service departments to discuss cultural diversity issues of common interest.

The network is now made up of representatives from 16 public sector agencies. Members are involved with one or more of the portfolios/areas of cultural diversity, community diversity, access, equity and participation, substantive equality, inclusion, service delivery, primary support services, and strategy, policy and planning.

The purpose of WACAN is to identify and share information on key issues affecting Western Australian CaLD communities and to facilitate the development and promotion of strategic responses through either a whole of government approach or individual agency responses.

The aims of the network are to:

  • open communication channels
  • facilitate cross-departmental collaboration
  • develop across departmental perspectives
  • share good practice stories
  • identify common issues
  • where possible, propose workable strategies to help ensure improved service delivery approaches for CaLD consumers.

The network has been able to provide significant input into government policies and programs related to CaLD issues and has proved to be a valuable resource for feedback on the implementation of policies and services.

WACAN’s achievements

Since 2010 WACAN has focused on three standing items: language services, substantive equality and data collection. The network has achieved a great deal on these issues through input and feedback in relation to:

  • the development of the Western Australian Language Services Policy 2014
  • the development of the Common Use Arrangement for Translating and Interpreting
  • agency specific language services policies
  • the Equal Opportunity Commission’s substantive equality program
  • the development of the Office of Multicultural Interests’ Guide to cultural and linguistic data collection for the public sector
  • Harmony Week activities.

WACAN member organisations

As of January 2016, 17 State departments and agencies are represented on WACAN.

  • Equal Opportunity Commission
  • Department for Child Protection and Family Support
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Health
    • Cultural Diversity Unit
    • North Metropolitan Health Service
    • Transcultural Mental Health Service
  • Department of the Premier and Cabinet
  • Department of Sports and Recreation
  • Department of Training and Workforce Development
  • Department of Transport
  • Disability Services Commission
  • Housing Authority
  • Metropolitan Cemeteries Board
  • Office of Multicultural Interests
  • Public Sector Commission
  • Western Australia Police