Co-designing a dedicated community space for Cairns’ multicultural community

Cairns Regional Council

Cairns Multicultural Community Facility Needs Assessment

Cairns is home to a growing and increasingly diverse community. The region contains people who originate from 102 different countries, a growing proportion of which are arriving from non-English speaking backgrounds. The region’s cultural melting pot contains some cultural groups which have lived in the region for multiple generations, while there are other, newer migrant groups establishing themselves.

For some time, there has been an ongoing conversation between Cairns Regional Council and its multicultural community about the need for a dedicated multicultural facility – a place where the community can meet and connect, practice their culture and keep their traditions alive.

Cred Consulting and Ethos Urban provided an independent assessment to determine the need for such a dedicated community space and provide advice regarding the appropriate location, functional requirements, and potential delivery models.

How we did it

Our assessment has involved:

  • a review of background information and social research
  • an audit of existing facilities and services across the region
  • a detailed population and demographic analysis and mapping
  • consultation with councillors, council officers, service providers and representatives of Cairns’ multicultural community
  • identification of specific needs and requirements for a community facility
  • assessment of different delivery options to meet the identified community needs
  • development of overall design principles and functional requirements for a community facility
  • multi-criteria assessment of potential sites.

The outcome

This project sought to balance the needs, aspirations and desires of the multicultural community, with sustainable asset management for Council.

We ultimately recommended that Council deliver a new purpose-built facility through a co-design process with the multicultural community to ensure that it meets their identified needs and engenders a sense of community pride and ownership.

The most rewarding part of this project has been engaging with Cairns’ diverse, active and energetic multicultural community. Our team have consulted with representatives from 29 different cultural groups, including First Nations representatives, to understand current activities and usage, future needs and aspirations. These values have been embedded in the assessment and project outcomes.