This editorial introduction orients the reader to current public debates and the state of research with regard to the intersection of linguistic diversity and social inclusion in contemporary Australia. These are characterised by a persistent lack of attention to the consequences of linguistic diversity for our social organisation. The editorial introduction serves to frame the five original research articles that comprise this special issue and identifies the key challenges that linguistic diversity presents for a fair and just social order. These challenges run as red threads through all the articles in this issue and include the persistent monolingual mindset which results in a pervasive language blindness and an inability to even identify language as an obstacle to inclusion. Furthermore, where language is recognised as an obstacle to inclusion this usually takes the form of assuming that an individual suffers from a lack of English language proficiency. Improving English language proficiency is then prescribed as a panacea for inclusion. However, on close examination that belief in itself can constitute a form of exclusion with detrimental effects both on language learning and equal opportunity.