OriginsInfocus June 2014


Our last white paper focused on food production and migrant communities in rural areas. This issue explores how migrant communities have shaped Australian urban cuisine,from the traditional ‘meat and two veg’ to a fusion of international flavours and styles. Read more


Events and News

Australia’s First Islamic Museum Opens

Located in Thornbury, Melbourne, the Islamic Museum of Australia aims to promote harmony and a mutual understanding between cultures and faiths.

The not-for-profit centre showcases the many contributions made by Muslims to culture and civilisation through time. The collection features interesting stories of Muslim history in Australia – for example, the little known fact that Muslims first came into contact with Australia in the 1700s. Decades before European settlement, Macassan Fisherman traded with indigenous Australians.

Click here for more information


Work Solutions: Improving Cultural Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

The Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV) recently released a discussion paper on the positive impact on the workplace from global migration. In line with the findings of the Capitalising on Culture research conducted jointly by OriginsInfo and Diversity Council Australia (DCA), it found Australia still has room to improve on its workplace diversity.

Of particular note from the ECCV discussion paper was that:

  • There is a general lack of awareness of the benefits of cultural diversity in the workplace.
  • People from culturally diverse backgrounds may be disadvantaged in current recruitment processes due to unconscious bias.
  • With a lack of data and research on workplace diversity, the paper recommends mandatory data collection and reporting to present a positive business case and help drive change in employee demographics.
  • Despite anti-discrimination legislation, racial discrimination in the workplace and employment practices still occurs.

These observations and recommendations echo those in the Capitalising on Culture discussion paper, which found that Australia’s business leaders are not reflective of the cultural composition of the wider Australian population. It showed that there is a strong business case for increasing workforce cultural capability - workforce cultural diversity is linked to:

  • increased innovation and creativity
  • market share and sales revenue
  • brand reputation and differentiation
  • improved financial performance

OriginsInfo provides organisations with accurate data on the cultural composition of their workforce and the markets they serve. As highlighted by the ECCV paper, many organisations have a limited view of the cultural diversity amongst its workforce. Surname analysis using  OriginsInfo offers reliable data about cultural backgrounds. Visit 'Why Origins' for more information about how OriginsInfo works

Download the ECCV discussion paper


Increasing Workforce Cultural Diversity Toolkit

Both DCA and ECCV research highlight the benefits of building a culturally diverse workforce. The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia (FECCA) has helpful resources to help organisations improve employee diversity.  In conjunction with industry experts, FECCA has developed a comprehensive set of fact sheets that may assist companies to increase the cultural composition and harmony of their workforce.  The fact sheets cover a range of workplace issues and practices that boost diversity so employers may reap the benefits of a multicultural  workforce. The 10 fact sheets include:

  • Introduction to Harmony in the Workplace
  • The Australian Workforce (the Background)
  • What is Diversity in the Workplace?
  • Recruiting, Progressing and Retaining a Culturally Diverse Workforce
  • Workplace Discrimination and Legal Frameworks
  • Becoming Confident and Competent in Talking About Workplace Diversity
  • Myths and Misperceptions About Cultural Diversity
  • Maximising the Value of Cultural Diversity
  • Cultural Diversity and Market Development
  • Where to From Here?

Download FECCA fact sheets

And the Winner for Best Pizza is....Australia

When we think of the world’s best pizza we think of Italy. But Australian restaurateur Johnny Di Francesco, owner of 400 Gradi in Brunswick, Melbourne, recently won first prize in the Pizza World Championship (Campionato Mondiale della Pizza) in Italy for his Margherita pizza. Around 600 entrants from 35 countries participated in the competition. Read more here.

Read more about Australia’s gastronomical journey from Anglo-Celtic roots to its present international fusion of cultures and forms in our OriginsInsight white paper.



What's in a Name? Greek Name Traditions

Part 2 of our 'What's in a Name?' mini-series profiles Greek naming traditions. Customs can be based on naming children after grandparents, saints, occupations or geographical origins and can reveal much about cultural connection. Read more.

Food and Migration

Migrants have played an important role in Australia's food culture evolution. Each wave of immigration, from early Chinese and German, and later European immigrants, has brought unique produce, harvest and production practices. Read more.


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