Webinar: Building Inclusive Cities: What is a Welcoming Standard?

October 30, 2017

Advancing the art of welcome: the Australian Standard for Welcoming Cities is a new framework for helping local councils benchmark their cultural diversity and inclusion policies and practices, identify gaps, set goals and assess their progress over time. Looking to the future, the Standard challenges city and community leaders to work collaboratively towards a shared vision of a welcoming and inclusive nation.

“What if?” asks Aleem Ali, Welcoming Cities: “What if we dared to consider how we might advance both the hand and art of welcome? What if we created a network of cities, shires, towns, and municipalities who were committed to creating welcoming communities and sharing knowledge, developing partnerships, and celebrating success? What if we did more than communicate, but also committed to, planned for, built and sustained welcome? ”

Launched in March 2016, Welcoming Cities facilitates a growing national network of inclusive, vibrant communities in Australia, and internationally, that supports local government leaders and communities to be more effective, open and resilient. The Australian Standard adapts elements of the U.S. Welcoming Standard, as does the pilot New Zealand Welcoming Standard. In Canada, the Welcoming and Inclusive Communities initiative at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association builds on the seminal work of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD).  Efforts to crack the code for welcoming communities demand our attention.

Explore the Australian Standard for Welcoming Cities with Aleem Ali, Welcoming Cities (Brisbane, Australia), in conversation with Darren Reedy, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (Edmonton, Canada). Learn more about the change-making work behind Welcoming Cities, the design and implementation of welcoming benchmarks, and the strategic engagement of city and community leaders in the Standard’s bid to ensure that immigrants thrive in the social, economic and civic life of their cities.

Webinar Video



Aleem Ali, National Manager, Welcoming Cities (Brisbane, Australia)

As a cultural & social entrepreneur, Aleem loves little more than working with passionate people to implement great ideas that advance the common good.

Awarded and recognised for his contribution to the community, Aleem has spent the past 20 years seeding and mentoring the development of leading programs, initiatives and enterprises. He is a mentor and advisor to various start-ups, community enterprises and government panels; and, a respected presenter on issues related to cultural diversity and social cohesion.

Currently, Aleem is the National Manager of the new Australian initiative, Welcoming Cities.

Darren Reedy, Manager of Welcoming and Inclusive Communities, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (Edmonton, Canada)

Darren Reedy is the Manager of Welcoming and Inclusive Communities for the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association. He is responsible for providing strategic guidance, facilitating educational workshops and promoting tools and resources to help municipal governments advance policies and practices to counter racism and discrimination in Alberta’s communities. He is a Certified Management Accountant with nine years of experience in the municipal sector involving roles in human resources, economic development, recreation, capital accounting and government advocacy. Darren is a member of an Advisory Committee to the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination and also the founder of Reedy Insights, a consultancy that delivers strategic planning, policy development, and financial analysis services to municipal governments and not-for-profit organizations in western Canada.

Technical Requirements

No cost to participate. You will need a computer with internet access and speakers. Pre-test System Requirements. Adobe Connect requires the Flash Player plugin, download version 13.0 or above to run.

  • Inquiries: citiesofmigration@ryerson.ca
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