Australia’s first Intercultural City, Ballarat, stands on Wadawurrung country. The local Wadawurrung people and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have a long and rich history extending back over 65,000 years.

Today, there are strong connections with this history connected to our lands, waterways, cultural practices and art, which is proudly upheld and acknowledged. There is still much to be learnt about Aboriginal culture and history and the City of Ballarat walks together with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in the spirit of reconciliation.

The discovery of gold in Ballarat, in the 1850s, created a large influx of many different nationalities, all looking for gold, making Ballarat a very intercultural city.

Today the city has developed by helping ordinary people from different countries meet and learn from one another. Ballarat’s Intercultural City Strategic Plan promotes social inclusion and wellbeing within its multicultural and indigenous communities, highlighting the positive contributions migrants and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People have made to our community.

During our recent lockdowns, many organisations and groups supported each other, making sure foods and other much needed items were given to those in need, especially within our ethnic community, the elderly, international stranded students and those in isolation.

Our recent Harmony Fest showed a great coming together of many cultures, religions and nationalities, showing what a truly Intercultural City Ballarat has become, where we are all willing to learn from each other, with many cultural and religious events.