Australia embraces multiculturalism with new advisory body and anti racism policy

by Ray Clancy on February 21, 2011

in Australia

Multiculturalism and anti-racism pushed

A new advisory body has been set up in Australia to champion multiculturalism and advise government departments on responding to the needs of migrants.

The Multicultural Advisory Council will provide independent advice with broader terms of reference than the current Australian Multicultural Advisory Council, according to Immigration Minister Chris Bowen.

‘The new body will act as a champion for multiculturalism in the community, will advise the government on multicultural affairs and will help ensure Australian government services respond to the needs of migrant and refugee communities, ‘Bowen said in a speech at the Sydney Institute.

He also announced that a new national anti racism strategy would also be established. ‘While much good work has been done in Australia over many decades, we must continue to work to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination,’ Bowen explained.

He said that the move would also help those who come to live and work in Australia to respect Australian values and strive for permanent migration and full citizenship.

‘We are not a guest worker society. Rather, people who share respect for our democratic beliefs, laws and rights are welcome to join us as full partners with equal rights,’ he added.

Senator Kate Lundy has been appointed as the new Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and will focus on implementing the new policy. She said that the Government is determined to strengthen access and equity for all people of differing backgrounds and the move reflects its commitment to a multicultural Australia and the importance of cultural diversity for the nation’s future.

The decision to focus on multiculturalism comes as a number of prominent European leaders have declared the concept as unworkable. German leader Angela Merkel was the first to say the multiculturalism had now worked in her country and French president Nicholas Sarkozy then said it has failed in France. British Prime Minister David Cameron also said the concept was problematic.

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