Community Languages

20171204 113524 resizedHobsons Bay Libraries provide collections in eight languages for people who may be from a culturally or linguistically diverse background.  We regularly organise cultural events, bi-lingual storytimes and cultural displays to support and celebrate Hobsons Bay's diversity. 



Language Line
Useful Links


Based at   
Arabic Altona North
Arabic magazines 
Chinese Altona, Altona Meadows   Chinese
Chinese magazines
Croatian Altona   Croatian
Croatian magazines 
Greek Altona, Altona North, Newport   Greek
Greek magazines
Italian Altona, Altona NorthNewport   Italian
Maltese Altona   Maltese
Polish Altona   Polish
Polish magazines
Vietnamese Altona Meadows   Vietnamese fiction Vietnamese DVDs Vietnamese magazines

A range of newspapers in each of these languages are available at the Altona Library (Chinese, Greek, Italian, Polish), Altona Meadows Library and Learning Centre (Chinese, Vietnamese) and Altona North Community Library (Arabic and Italian).

Additionally, a Macedonian newspaper is available at the Altona Meadows Library and Learning Centre.


The library provides free access to online resources. These can be accessed in the library or from home. All you need is your library card number and your password. Along with the print and audio visual stock available there are a number of electronic resources which support customers in learning English as a second language or accessing information, resources and services in their own language.

Mango is an online language-learning system that can help you learn languages like English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Brazilian, Pirate, German, Mandarin Chinese, Greek, Italian and more.

Mango also have English courses for foreign speakers so that you may learn English in your native language. The languages include Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese and Italian.

PressReader gives you instant access to more than 5000 magazines and newspapers, from 100 countries in 60 languages.

Journeys to Australia – From one home to another is a  collection of 68 inspiring and unique stories collected from residents of Hobsons Bay who migrated to Australia between 1950 and 2012 or were born to migrant   parents.   Books can be purchased at Hobsons Bay Libraries.

Life on a Plate: recipes and stories from Hobsons Bay - Every dish in life on a plate comes with a passion for food, family and community. From Middle east to the Mediterranean, from Asia to the Americas these recipes represent the people of Hobsons Bay.


The library organises regular cultural events, bi-lingual storytimes and cultural displays on a regular basis. Subscribe to the eNewsletter for regular updates. See the event calendar for the full list of events.

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Language Line new 2014Language Line

The Hobsons Bay Language Line offers recorded information about the key Council services in nine community languages, with an option to connect directly to an interpreter along with the Council Officer, should the caller require more information.

Recorded information covers the following topics:

  • Family, Youth and Children Services
  • Aged and Disability Services
  • Rates, Local Law and Fines
  • Waste, Recycling, Town Planning and Building Permits
  • Sport, Recreation and Community Centres
  • Recorded information is available in English, Greek, Vietnamese, Arabic, Italian, Cantonese, Macedonian, Mandarin and Karen. The interpreter access is available for all languages during business hours.

    Council information in your language

    The Hobsons Bay City Council website has information about Council services in the following languages:

    Useful Links

    Hobsons Bay City Council - Multicultural Services

    Department of Immigration and Citizenship - Information on immigration, citizenship and visas 

    Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria

    AMES - A range of settlement services including help to learn English and find a job.

    Health Translations - Health information translated into many languages.

    Migrant Resource Centre North West - A range of settlement and immigration services.

    Victorian Multicultural Commission - News and information on multicultural activities in Victoria.

    Australian Multicultural Community Services

    Vic Roads - A series of videos, handbooks and fact sheets in a variety of languages.

    Refugee Council of Australia The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) - The national umbrella body for refugees and the organisations and individuals who support them. 

    My Aged Care - Information about aged care services in a variety of languages.!/other-languages

    Seeking English - People seeking asylum can find English classes across Melbourne with the Refugee Council of Australia's Seeking English database.

    English Language Courses

    Looking to undertake a course or program to improve on your English language skills? Contact one of the local community centres listed below. These courses are delivered across Hobsons Bay – in Williamstown, Spotswood, Altona North, Altona Meadows and Laverton.

    Courses may be government funded or subsidised. Both centres are Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) offering accredited courses such as Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) and the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP), and Conversational English and Life Skills groups, plus many other courses to support people settling into Hobsons Bay and Australia.

    For more information visit their websites or call on the details below:

    Williamstown Community Education Centre contact Lynne on 9397 6168

    Laverton Community Education Centre contact 9369 2726

    Conversational English

    Looking to practice your English language skills? Try joining a local conversation class or club. Hobsons Bay Learning Communities in partnership with local community groups coordinate free, small and friendly classes for people to practice their conversational skills and make new friends. Here are a few options:

    • English Conversation Club

      Would you like to practice your English in a relaxed setting and make new friends?  Join our English Conversation Club. It is a great way to meet people and enjoy conversations on a range of topics. Sessions are free, morning tea is provided, and everyone is welcome including children.

      Where: Laverton Community Hub, 95-100 Railway Avenue 

      When: Every Monday - 8 February to 29 November 2021 (excluding school and public holidays), 10.00am to 11.30am

      Contact: Laverton Community Hub, 8368 0100. Bookings not required.

    • English Conversation Class

      Is English your new language? Come and improve your speaking at the weekly Conversation Class hosted by the Hobsons Bay Refugee Network. 
      This is a free class, with tea, coffee and biscuits provided.

      Where: Altona Library 
      When: Mondays, 1pm to 3pm (excluding school and public holidays)
      Contact: Jill MacKenzie 0439 994 705 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Joe Pellone 0431 915 970 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    • In-home English tutoring for people seeking asylum

    West Welcome Wagon is a volunteer-run not-for-profit dedicated to providing material aid and support to asylum seekers in the Melbourne’s West. West Welcome Wagon may be able to source and match a volunteer in-home English tutor for people seeking asylum.

    Where: Melbourne’s western suburbs and as per arrangement with West Welcome Wagon

    When: as per arrangement with West Welcome Wagon

    Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or to volunteer contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.