Cultural competence in the community health context: 'We don't have to reinvent the wheel'

Mandy Truong, Lisa Gibbs, Yin Paradies, Naomi Priest, Maryanne Tadic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Health and social service agencies need to be responsive to the healthcare requirements of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups in the community. This is a challenging proposition, particularly due to shifting demographics in developed Western countries such as Australia. Organisations that strive for cultural competence can potentially reduce the barriers associated with inequitable access to services by CALD groups. Community health services play a vital role in the provision of culturally competent health services to people from CALD groups. Additional research related to cultural competence in the community health context is needed. Thus, the aim of this paper is to explore the positioning of cultural competence within community health from multiple perspectives using a qualitative case study of a community health service located in Victoria, Australia. The findings suggest that if the essential needs of clients are met, regardless of cultural background (e.g. able to communicate with staff, trust and a respectful and caring environment), then issues related to cultural background may be of less significance for some clients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-347
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


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