A newly-forged community group is challenging the region's reputation as the state's 'least diverse' by leading a push to hold the city's first multicultural festival in a decade.
The pilot event could see traditional performers, face painters and food and craft stall holders line Warrnambool's Civic Green on October 1.
That includes a 0.9 per cent increase since 2016 in the number of households where a language other than or in addition to English was spoken.
A large spike in the number of residents from China (141 to 236) and the emergence of the Philippines and India as countries of origin were also key drivers.
Group president Wei-Lin Mai said while the city had previously hosted individually-successful celebrations of diverse groups, the purpose of the event was to promote an intercultural exchange.
"We are holding the first multicultural festival focusing on promoting an understanding about diverse communities in an intercultural way," she said.
"We want people from different cultures interacting with and learning from each other.
"Other groups are doing an amazing job, but for us we just want to offer a place where people from multicultural backgrounds can feel a sense of belonging and can showcase their culture to people from different areas.
"Through the recently-released data we understand there are at least 30 different cultural groups living in Warrnambool so this festival would be a good opportunity for all these cultural groups to appreciate, celebrate and learn from each other.
"It might not be much, but it's a good start."
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She said some performers and all organisers would be volunteer-based but the group had been spurred on by a grant from the council.
"I was talking to the regional Filipino community a few days ago and there was a lady there who said she would encourage people from her cultural group to attend the festival in their traditional attire.
"For other people that's where we learn and appreciate their culture.
"I also previously organised a multicultural picnic at the Botanic Gardens in March where a Thai resident and her friend contributed their dancing to the event without charging us anything.
"They just wanted to showcase their culture and they've offered us the same thing again."
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