WA Across-Government Network

This across-government network was set up in 2004 as a forum for senior State Government officers in human service departments to discuss cultural diversity issues of common interest.

The network is now made up of representatives from nine public sector agencies. Members are involved with one or more of the portfolios/areas of cultural diversity, community diversity, access, equity and participation, substantive equality, inclusion, service delivery, primary support services, and strategy, policy and planning.

The purpose of the WA Across-Government Network (WACAN) is to identify and share information on key issues affecting WA's culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities and to facilitate the development and promotion of strategic responses through either a whole of government approach or individual agency responses.

The aims of the network are to:

  • open communication channels
  • facilitate cross-departmental collaboration
  • develop across departmental perspectives
  • share good practice stories
  • identify common issues
  • where possible, propose workable strategies to help ensure improved service delivery approaches for CaLD consumers.

The network has been able to provide significant input into government policies and programs related to CaLD issues and has proved to be a valuable resource for feedback on the implementation of policies and services.

Benefits of WACAN

WACAN membership provides agency representatives with a holistic view and comprehensive approach to CaLD issues across the public sector, and the opportunity to collaborate on issues of mutual interest and learn from the knowledge and expertise of others. Membership offers increased awareness of other agency initiatives and an effective mechanism for the promotion of projects.

WACAN representatives also establish and maintain contacts with other agencies facilitating across-departmental collaboration and perspectives.

WACAN members are also the ‘first port of call’ when information is required from a particular agency, enabling fast response to urgent queries.

WACAN’s achievements

Since 2010 WACAN has focused on three standing items: language services, substantive equality and data collection.

The network has achieved a great deal on these issues through input and feedback in relation to:

  • the development of the Western Australian Language Services Policy 2014
  • the development of the Common Use Arrangement for Translating and Interpreting
  • agency specific language services policies
  • the Equal Opportunity Commission’s substantive equality program
  • the development of the Office of Multicultural Interests' Guide to cultural and linguistic data collection for the public sector​​
  • Harmony Week activities.
Guide to cultural and linguistic data collection for the public sector

Guide to cultural and linguistic data collection for the public sector

The Office of Multicultural Interests’ (OMI’s) vision is ‘an inclusive and cohesive society which draws on its cultural and linguistic diversity to enhance the social, economic and cultural development of the State’.

WACAN member organisations

As of January 2018, nine State departments and agencies are represented on WACAN.

  • Department of Communities
    • Child Protection and Family Support
    • Disability Services
    • Housing
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Health
    • Cultural Diversity Unit
    • North Metropolitan Health Service
  • Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries
    • Office of Multicultural Interests
    • Sport and Recreation
  • Department of Training and Workforce Development
  • Department of Transport
  • Equal Opportunity Commission
  • Metropolitan Cemeteries Board
  • Public Sector Commission.
Page reviewed 20 October 2020