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COVID-19 Update

Restrictions will be in place from 11:59pm Thursday 27 May to 11:59pm on Thursday 10 June. Most council facilities will be closed. Events have been cancelled. Critical services will continue. Find out more

Diverse people with hands joined

Cultural Diversity

People have come to Knox from over 130 different countries. According to the 2016 Census, 30.1% (over 46,000 people) of Knox residents were born overseas. In 2016, 23% of people in the City of Knox came from countries where English was not their first language. View more information about Knox demographics.

Refugee Week - Unity: The way forward (20 - 26 June 2021)

Refugee Week is Australia’s peak annual activity to inform the public about refugees and celebrate positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.

This year's theme, Unity - the way forward, acknowledges the volatility in recent times and the need to work together Let's take the opportunity to start afresh and rebuild our lives together.

World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations and falls on June 20 at the beginning of Refugee Week. This special day acknowledges and honours refugees around the globe by celebrating the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. It is also a day to build empathy and understanding for the hardships endured by refugees and to recognise their resilience in rebuilding their lives in another country.

Approximately 1500 refugees from Iran, Myanmar, Egypt, Tibet, Iraq and Ethiopia call Knox home with many more working, studying or volunteering in the municipality.

Refugee Welcome Zone

Knox Council is a Refugee Welcome Zone, and has made a commitment to welcoming refugees into the community, upholding the human rights of refugees, demonstrating compassion for refugees and enhancing cultural and religious diversity in the community.

This public commitment is also an acknowledgment of the tremendous contributions refugees have made to Australian society in the fields of medicine, science, engineering, sport, education and the arts. By making this Declaration, Knox Council supports the men, women and children who make the difficult journey to Australia to seek our protection.

Further information about and for refugees can be found at these websites:

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre - A Melbourne-based organisation that provides aid, justice and empowerment programs to asylum seekers.

Refugee Council of Australia - The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is the national umbrella body for refugees and the organisations and individuals who support them.

The Migrant Information Centre (Eastern Melbourne) - The organisation in the Eastern Region that provides support and services to refugees.

General Advice and Information during coronavirus (COVID-19) including the wearing of face masks

In-Language Advice and Information

Government has released a number of resources and information sheets about staying safe and keeping healthy during the coronavirus situation. If English is not your first language, you can find factual and up-to-date information on the following web pages:

Access to a translator for the Coronavirus hotline

If you have a Coronavirus disease question and need a translator, follow these steps:

1. Call 131 450 (TIS National)
2. Then request the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398

Please only call Triple Zero (000) for emergencies.

SBS are providing free in-language news and information about Coronavirus. You can access TV and radio segments in 63 languages via their website.

Joint Knox Multicultural Advisory Committee and Knox Interfaith Network statement in response to COVID-19 racism

The Knox Multicultural Advisory Committee (KMAC) together with the Knox Interfaith Network (KIN) are united in their commitment to a safe, cohesive and harmonious community. Knox is a culturally diverse community with just over 30% of its residents born overseas. These residents are a vital part of the community, contributing in a multitude of ways to make Knox a great place to live, work and play.

At this time of the COVID-19 pandemic it is more important than ever that Knox residents support each other. KMAC and KIN encourage all residents to practice mutual respect and to denounce any form of racial discrimination. It is in treating others with respect that we learn not only something of them, but also of ourselves. We thus become a more interesting and robust community. We must stand up and celebrate our diversity without fracturing our communities.

Health and Wellbeing

Racism doesn’t belong in our Community

Our diverse community is a strength. Knox City Council does not tolerate hurtful comments against any of our community members because of their cultural background, especially at this difficult time. The contributions of our diverse community is something we all should be proud of.

If you feel you have been discriminated against, victimised or vilified, you or someone on your behalf can make a complaint to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
You can lodge a complaint by:

A complaint can be made in any language.

If you are a victim of a serious incident of racial and religious vilification or abuse, you should report it to your local Victoria Police or local Victoria Police Multicultural Liaison Officer. If you are in immediate danger you should call Triple Zero (000)

Community Reporting Tool

If you have experienced racism, sexual harassment or discrimination of any kind, or if you have any human rights issues or concerns, then the Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission want to hear from you.

Mental Health Support

This is an unprecedented situation and it is understandable if you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. The need to keep physically distant from others can be challenging and it is important we do things to help us cope and maintain good mental health and wellbeing.

There are a number of support services and self-help resources available to people who might be struggling with their mental health or noticing an increase in stress, anxiety, loneliness or low mood. The Federal Government has released a range of resources on the Head to Health website, which includes self-help tips and information on accessing mental health services during coronavirus.

There are also a number of organisations that are able to provide emotional support and guidance through these difficult times. Beyond Blue has developed a Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service, providing people with online mental health resources and a dedicated counselling hotline staffed by trained mental health professionals.

The below support lines are available 24/7 if you need to talk:

  • Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Line 1800 512 348
  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
  • Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
  • MensLine 1300 789 978
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

If you need emergency assistance phone 000 for Police, Ambulance or Fire Services.

Family Violence Support

Family violence services are there to provide support to you if staying in your home becomes unsafe. If you, or someone you know is at risk of domestic or family violence during the current coronavirus pandemic, there are specialist family violence services that are available to help, including:

  • If you are in immediate danger, phone 000Victoria Police
  • 1800RESPECT Counselling Line — if you need confidential help or referral for sexual assault, family and domestic violence, phone 1800 737 732. Interpreting services are available.
  • safe steps 24/7 family violence response line — if you need confidential crisis support, information and accommodation, phone 1800 015 188.
  • InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence — if you are experiencing family violence and need support, phone 1800 755 988.
  • WithRespect - if you need a specialist LGBTIQ family violence service, phone 1800 LGBTIQ (1800 542 847).
  • Men’s Referral Service phone 1300 766 491

InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence provide specialist support to women from migrant and refugee backgrounds, their families and their communities.

Racism. It Stops With Me

Knox City Council is an official supporter of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s RACISM. IT STOPS WITH ME campaign.

What is the RACISM. IT STOPS WITH ME campaign?

This campaign is an initiative of the National Anti-Racism Strategy launched by the Australian Government in August 2012.

The aim of the National Anti-Racism Strategy is:

To promote a clear understanding in the Australian community of what racism is, and how it can be prevented and reduced.

The objectives of the Strategy are to:

  • Create awareness of racism and how it affects individuals and the broader community;
  • Identify, promote and build on good practice initiatives to prevent and reduce racism; and
  • Empower communities and individuals to take action to prevent and reduce racism and to seek redress when it occurs.

What can you do to fight racism?

Standing up to racism shows the target of the racist behaviour that you don’t support it and can be a powerful sign of support. It can also make the perpetrator think twice about what they are saying or doing.

Elevator - Racism. It Stops With Me

Taxi - Racism. It Stops With Me

View Tips for Bystanders on how everyone can play a role in preventing racism.

To learn more about the 'Racism. It Stops With Me.' campaign visit

Why is Council supporting this campaign?

The Knox Community Access and Equity Plan 2017-2022 guides Council action and outlines Council’s commitment and vision for addressing access and equity issues in Knox as well as promoting diversity, access and inclusion. The Plan incorporates the following five focus areas:

Area 1: Equitable, Accessible and Inclusive Services.

Area 2: Leadership and Advocacy.

Area 3: Accessible and Safe Places and Spaces.

Area 4: Empowerment and Participation.

Area 5: Celebrating Diversity and Creating a Sense of Belonging.

Additionally, the campaign supports Goal 7 of the Knox Community and Council Plan 2017-2021: We are inclusive, feel a sense of belonging and value our identity.

Stay up to date - Join our Knox Multicultural e-bulletin

Knox City Council produces a regular multicultural e-bulletin that provides up-to-date news and information for individuals and groups.

The personal information collected will be used for the primary purpose of Knox City Council sending you the "Linking Knox" email newsletter/e-bulletin. The personal information collected will not be disclosed to a third party unless permitted or required by law. Requests for access to and/or amendment of personal information should be made to Council’s Freedom of Information Officer. Read Council's Privacy Policy and Guidelines on our website or call us on 9298 8000.

Sign up now to our multicultural email list.

Knox Multicultural Directory

The Knox Multicultural Directory has a number of purposes. These are:

  • To provide information to the general community about the growing cultural diversity in Knox;
  • To assist individuals and service providers with making connections to migrant and refugee groups based in Knox; and
  • To assist migrants and refugees in Knox to connect with services that would be useful for them.

Every attempt has been made to provide accurate, relevant and up to date information in this Directory. However, please feel free to contact Council’s Multicultural Communities Officer on 9298 8000 to provide any further updates.

Download the Knox Multicultural Directory

Knox Multicultural Advisory Committee

The Knox Multicultural Advisory Committee (KMAC) was launched in 2009 to provide Council with advice on Multicultural issues and promote greater awareness and understanding in the local community of cultural diversity in Knox.

Learning and Development - English language classes for migrants

The following English language classes for migrants are available in the Knox and surrounding area:

AMES Australia offer a range of English courses to help people settle in Australia. These courses range from beginner to advanced levels.

Citywide Community Church offer conversational English classes for migrants and refugees. These classes are free and are held by AMES certified tutors.

Mountain District Learning Centre (MDLC) delivers daytime English language classes at Boronia library, via the Certificate in Spoken and Written Language (CSWE).

Swinburne University hold various English languages courses available at the Wantirna campus.

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