How COVID-19 is Effecting the Tasmanian Multicultural Community: Report.


Executive Summary

This report provides an overview of the responses to the survey of culturally and
linguistically diverse (CALD) community groups in Tasmania conducted by the Multicultural
Council of Tasmania (MCOT) in May 2020.

The 57 respondents represent much of the diversity of our CALD community in Tasmania.
The survey was balanced, asking about both the opportunities and challenges during this
COVID-19 crisis. The responses suggest that CALD communities continue to demonstrate
self-sufficiency and resilience, but are facing the dual challenges of the pressures common
to all Tasmanians during this crisis, plus pressures unique to CALD communities.

The unique pressures facing CALD communities include racism and racial discrimination, lack
of connection with mainstream charities resulting from a history of self-sufficiency within
tight-knit CALD communities, language-related difficulties, and greater personal connection
with tragic circumstances seen overseas. CALD communities also include temporary visa
holders, who face unique pressures due to restricted work rights and welfare eligibility. For
many temporary visa holders, a return to their country of origin may not be possible,
feasible or in the interests of the broad Tasmanian community.

MCOT has responded to individual survey respondents who expressed various needs by
providing what support and referrals we could.
MCOT now shares the survey responses with the CALD community, other organisations
serving the CALD community, government and with the media – to prompt further action in
response to the needs identified.

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis MCOT has been carrying out its core responsibilities as
a peak body by providing information to CALD communities and advocating for CALD
communities with government and the media. In addition, MCOT has been providing some
modest assistance to CALD Tasmanians facing financial hardship.

MCOT will continue to advocate for the long-term interests of CALD Tasmanians, in what
will be challenging circumstances. MCOT welcomes input from its members as it carries out
this role.

A brief overview of the responses and comments for each question is set out in the
remainder of this Executive Summary.