The Australian Government Department of Human Services (the department) has a renowned Multicultural Service Officer (MSO) program of officers located around Australia.
These MSOs are a bridge between the department and its multicultural customers. Working with customers, community organisations and department staff, MSOs play a key role in ensuring culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) Australians have access to the department’s payments and services.
To ensure people are aware of how the department helps migrants and refugees, MSOs deliver tailored information sessions to targeted customer groups such as families, job seekers and seniors.
These sessions provide a great opportunity for people to get firsthand information about payments and services offered by the department. These sessions are often delivered in languages other than English through the help of an interpreter, allowing the audience to communicate and interact directly with the MSO in their own language.
MSOs work closely with third party organisations in the community and government sectors to improve service delivery to multicultural Australians. This happens through regular local consultative meetings where MSOs encourage open dialogue and constructive feedback about service delivery, policy and processes. MSOs also collaborate with communities to hold events and outreach activities, as well as run information sessions for agencies.
Department staff benefit from the experience and knowledge MSOs have through their work with multicultural customers and communities. MSOs are a key contact point for staff when they need advice about multicultural matters or information about the local community demographics. MSOs also guide and support staff to deliver effective and culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
The MSO program will celebrate 30 years of operation in 2019. It has evolved over the past three decades to ensure it remains relevant and responsiveness to the needs of CALD customers. The longevity and success of this program is attributed to the strong and collaborative relationships MSOs have built with customers and communities.
To engage with your local MSO, contact your local Department of Human Services service centre or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about what MSOs do, visit humanservices.gov.au