This paper explores the role, challenges and opportunities of using new and emerging forms of technology to empower communities from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. For the purposes of this paper, the term CALD refers to people such as immigrants and refugees who settle in Australia and come from diverse linguistic, cultural, economic and social backgrounds. It draws on a review of relevant literature and Information Communication Technology (ICT) initiatives in the area, and a meta-analysis of research projects that have involved communities such as the Vietnamese, Sudanese and Samoan living in the Western region of metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. From a community perspective it reports on how these communities use and access ICT, and what ICT supported initiatives would be effective in communicating information, such as messages of health and wellbeing. This paper also identifies barriers and important factors to consider when using ICT with CALD communities to initiate social change. In order to counter a technologically deterministic and one way transmission of information, this paper argues for a communally driven and culturally sensitive use and application of ICT to empower CALD communities in Australia.
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