Cultural Inclusion & Safety Workshop

About the Workshop

This workshop builds skills and practices to increase cultural inclusion and reduce racism. It looks at what local governments and their employees can do across three spheres of influence: service delivery, council spaces and places and councils as employers of choice. The workshop has a strong lived experience and component, both from the facilitators who will share their own stories and in the presentation of interviews with people of colour who are diverse council stakeholders. 

In response to the growing sector needs to be culturally responsive, LGPro’s anti-racism and cross-cultural experts have developed a workshop that will provide tailored and impactful training to those working in local government.

Understand key concepts and cultural inclusion vocabulary
Understand the impacts of racism on people of colour and First Nations people
Analyse how council structures, policies and actions may exclude and disadvantage people of colour and First Nations people
Build skills in cultural inclusion and anti-racism practice 
Generate actions that can support your council to increase cultural inclusion as a workplace and in your communities

The workshop focuses on allyship in the workplace - the changes employees and workplaces as institutions can make to challenge racism and improve inclusion for people of colour, including First Nations people. This workshop is predominantly designed to help employees who have not personally experienced racism learn and reflect on the experiences of discrimination and exclusion that people of colour (employees and community members) have experienced.

Upcoming Workshops

In-person LGPro Docklands:
Half day workshop including morning tea

Feb 21 LGPro Docklands Register Here
Mar 23
LGPro Docklands Register Here
May 18 LGPro Docklands Register Here 
Jun 20
LGPro Docklands Register Here


Your Facilitators

Shankar Kasynathan

Shankar is LGPro’s Director of Strategy and Engagement and is an in-house diversity & inclusion specialist trainer. 

Shankar started his career in local government and over the past 20 years has accumulated experiences in Youth Services, Housing, Public Health, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs across Victoria, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT. In one capacity or another, he has worked for Transparency International, Oxfam Australia, National Heart Foundation, Amnesty International and the Red Cross.

Shankar has been an adviser to State and Territory members of parliament (including members of Cabinet). His appointments have also included sessional teaching at Charles Darwin, Monash, UNSW and Deakin universities. Outside of his work with LGPro, Shankar is a Commissioner for Multicultural Affairs in the State of Victoria and the Deputy Chair of the Migrant Workers Centre.

Maria Dimopoulos

Maria is a nationally and internationally recognised expert specialising in the intersections of diversity, gender equality and the law. She is an outstanding communicator and facilitator and possesses an extraordinary ability to captivate her audience. She has had extensive experience in policy formulation for the public sector, research for social planning and in community education.

Maria’s collaborative approach to working across sectors and within diverse immigrant communities has made significant contributions to the design and delivery of violence prevention strategies that recognise the complex dynamics of violence against different groups of women, including those who are newly-arrived, from well-established communities, in precarious employment, or from visible minority groups.

Maria is a recipient of a Medal of the Order of Australia and an inductee to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women. Her roles have included Special Advisor, Multicultural Communities, for the Department of Justice and Community Safety and Deputy Chair of the Victorian Multicultural Commission. She is also a Board member of the Coronial Council of Victoria, Reconciliation Victoria, the Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre, the National Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity and Chairperson of Safe and Equal.

The Prevalence of Racism

Racism, both overt and structural, is still a common experience in Australia.

The most up-to-date research tells us that:
• 52% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experienced racism in the past 6 months. 17% reported physical violence (Australian Reconciliation Barometer 2020)
• 32% of those born in a non-English speaking country experienced racism in the last 12 months (Mapping Social Cohesion Report, 2020)
• 18% of Australians experienced racism in the last 12 months (Mapping Social Cohesion Report, 2020)

The Cost and Impact of Racism

Racism is destructive for the individuals and families directly affected and for workplaces and local communities.

Impact on the individual
• Victorian adults who frequently experience racism are almost five times more likely than those who do not experience racism to have poor mental health. (VicHealth Report, 2018)
• Victorian adults who frequently experience racism are 2.5 times more likely than those who do not experience racism to have poor physical health (VicHealth Report, 2018).
• Racism limits opportunities to access resources such as housing, health care and education
• Racism leads to unemployment, poor career advancement relative to skills and qualifications and overrepresentation in low-end jobs and poverty
• Intergenerational disadvantage 

Impacts on society
• As a result of racial discrimination, Australia loses more than three per cent of its GDP annually
• That translates to around $37 billion per annum in terms of our total economy
• 70% of workers exposed to racism take time off work as a result
• Racism affects overall workplace morale and productivity
• Links to violence and large scale community conflicts
• Undermines social cohesion, neighbourliness and community participation

Course Details


Duration: Half day with morning tea
Time: 9:30am to 12:30pm
Price: $250 (inc. GST) for non-members / $200 (inc. GST) for LGPro members 

Pricing is valid until June 30, 2023. Prices will increase by 2% on 1 July, 2023

Member prices are valid for the following individual LGPro Memberships:  LGPro Fellow, Professional & Young Professional Members


More Information

For further information email [email protected] or phone (03) 9268 6400

This workshop can also be held in-house. Please email [email protected] for further information.

Register online below

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Additional Image
When: February 21, 2023
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When: March 23, 2023
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When: May 18, 2023
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When: June 20, 2023
Cancellation Policy: LGPro is a member, not for profit association and all money generated is used to develop quality professional development activities and services. Our events and programs are budgeted on a minimum number of attendees so providing us with sufficient notice regarding non-attendance is imperative to the success of all our events. Where a substitute delegate cannot be appointed, the following will apply for any cancellations:

7+ business days prior the workshop: full refund and/or transfer available
6 business daysprior the workshop: no refund available, however substitute participants are welcome.
A substitute delegate is encouraged to attend in place of a cancellation.

All cancellations and substitutes must be received in writing by LGPro.
* Transfers to the next available program intake are subject to any applicable fee increases.

LGPro's full cancellation policy.

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