Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)

Western Sydney University has a proud history in the culturally diverse, progressive and fast-growing region it serves, delivering the highest educational opportunities alongside world-class research expertise. Significant benefits can be gained by embracing the diversity of all these different cultures. The contribution of different traditions, customs and ideas can facilitate diversity of thought and approaches, providing innovative perceptions.

The University is committed to promoting a respectful and harmonious culture where diversity is embraced and student and staff environments are free from cultural bias, discrimination and vilification.

The University has social and cultural spaces on most campuses including a chaplaincy team and multi-faith centres for everyone on campus regardless of faith. There are also a number of on-campus men’s and women’s Muslim prayer rooms which include Qibla-facing prayer carpets, a place for Wudu, and female prayer clothing if needed.

Students  can join the Ethno-Cultural Collective. The collective provide a place where students can work together to create campaigns and advocate on specific issues.

In early 2022 The Western Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Staff Collective (We-CALD) was launched.   
The group aims to provide a safe space for CALD staff to come together and support each other, facilitate collaborations, enable advocacy, promote and celebrate cultural and linguistic diversity at the University.

WeCALD Logo Image

If you identify as a CALD staff member, consider joining this group by completing the membership registration form.  If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the Convenors of the network via email: Kimberley Pangilinan –, Sowbhagya Micheal –

We-CALD Profiles

Click the image to read about some of our We-CALD membersWeCALD Profile pic Collage

Cultural leave

The University has a commitment to providing leave for staff to participate in significant cultural and religious events and ceremonies which are recognised by the NSW Premier’s List of Days of Religious Significance for Multicultural NSW. Usual leave options include:WSU Students

  • personal leave,
  • flex leave,
  • leave without pay and
  • time in lieu.

Further information can be found in the staff enterprise agreements .

We-CALD conducted a survey through the network to create a broader picture of days that are celebrated by various cultures.  These have been included in the dates of significance calendar .

Upcoming Events

(Currently being updated)

CALD Research conducted at Western Sydney University

(Currently being updated)

Western Sydney University and Greater Western Sydney diversity statistics

Western Sydney University is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse universities in Australia drawing 77% of our students from the local Greater Western Sydney Region:

  • approximately 40% of the University’s 47,971 students were born overseas including more than 175 countries;
  • approximately 37% of students speak a language other than English at home including around 160 languages; and

University staff also reflect this wealth of diversity with at least 40% being born overseas from across over 70 countries.

The University reflects the diversity of the local Greater Western Sydney Region which is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse regions in Australia:

  • 841,464 (37.7%) of GWS’s estimated population of 2,232,000 were born overseas with India, China and Vietnam being the top three countries of birth;
  • 729,864 (32.7%) were born in a country where English is not the first language;
  • 401,760 (18%) arrived in Australia within 5 years prior to 2016; and
  • 937,440 (42%) speak a language other than English at home with Arabic, Vietnamese and Mandarin being the top three languages.

International students

Western Sydney University has an international student uptake of 15% of the student population (2021 Annual Report). The University welcomes and supports international students. Further information on available supports can be found on the Equity and Diversity, Cultural Diversity page and the Western Sydney International Students page.