OBJECTIVE: To describe and compare patterns of Home and Community Care (HACC) utilisation among culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people and Australian-born residents of rural Victoria. DESIGN: The HACC Minimum Data Set provides information regarding levels of service provision and coverage in Victoria. Data from January to June 2002 were analysed to provide a profile of client characteristics and service usage in rural Victoria. Patterns of service utilisation were compared with the profile of the CALD population in the 2001 Census. RESULTS: The proportion of CALD residents who are HACC clients is consistent with demographic profiles. However, their extent of service usage is not consistent with patterns of use by Australian-born residents. HACC clients born in non-English-speaking countries, receive 35% less hours of HACC service than their Australian-born counterparts. HACC clients born overseas in English-speaking countries receive nine per cent less hours of HACC service than the Australian-born group (F = 8.9, P = 0.00). Both groups of overseas-born clients use a smaller range of HACC services (F = 1.9, P = 0.16). CONCLUSION: Planners and service providers need to monitor levels of HACC service delivery among population groups to ensure that CALD population groups receive equitable levels of HACC services. The HACC Minimum Data Set is one source of data that can assist in this process.