Celebrating the cultural diversity of our residents, employees and volunteers is very important to the culture of Royal Freemasons. Some 85 per cent of our residents come from non-english speaking backgrounds. seventy-five per cent of our employees were born overseas and collectively speak 21 languages.

We embrace all races, cultural and religious backgrounds throughout our organisation. We regularly celebrate cultural events, prepare specially-designed menus and culturally-sensitive services for our customers. We also provide translation options on our website and in our marketing materials.

Cultural diversity is important because our country, workplaces, communities and schools increasingly consist of various cultural, racial and ethnic groups. We can all learn from one another, but first we must have a level of understanding about each other.

At Royal Freemasons, we have also come to learn that celebrating cultural diversity with new and engaging activities can be a fun way to take a break from our daily routines.

For instance, at our Footscray Aged Care facility, residents and employees come together at least once a month to dine at a local Chinese restaurant where delicacies such as scallops, prawn dumplings, chicken feet, pork dishes and jasmine tea are savoured.

Afterwards, residents often enjoy heading to the local Buddhist Temple before finishing with a visit to a shopping centre or Bunnings.

At Elizabeth Gardens, we recently celebrated our rich cultural heritage by dressing up in national costumes from Scotland, India, China, Switzerland, Ireland and, of course, Australia.

Participants also brought a plate of their traditional food to share.

Tasty dishes of tandoori chicken, suimai and vegetarian dumplings, potato bake, rice, curry, shortbread, salads, cheese, pavlova and cake were enjoyed by the group.

Everyone agreed that trying and sharing new food is a great experience and a fantastic way to get to know each other a little better!

Recently, even our employees who work from our Support Services on St Kilda Road gathered for lunch to share their favorite home-made dish to celebrate cultural diversity.

Some fine culinary skills were on display as everyone had the chance to cook their favourite dishes, reveal the ingredients and to explain how and why they are used.

All highly entertaining events that celebrated inclusion and everyone agreed that they can’t wait for the next!