Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
'Living in Harmony' campaign launched.

Download WordDownload Word



Media Release


The Hon. Philip Ruddock MP

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs


Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Telephone: 02 6277 7860  Facsimile: 02 6273 4144


MPS 106/98




The Minister for Immig ration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock, launched the first stage of the Federal Government’s anti-racism campaign — the ‘Living in Harmony’ initiative - in Sydney today.


Mr Ruddock said Living in Harmony is designed to build upon the cohesiveness of the Australian society and make it clear that there is no place for racism in Australia.


“It is the values we all share that bring us together — those traditional Australian values of fairness, equality and justice — and they strengthen our ability to resist those who want to divide us on racial or cultural grounds,” Mr Ruddock said.


Emphasising the social and economic benefits of diversity, the Minister reinforced the need for individuals and communities throughout the country to move beyond more acceptance of cultural or racial difference and towards encouraging active participation of all Australians in community life.


“Everyone should have the opportunity to join fully in the life of the country and racial and cultural intolerance prevent that,” Mr Ruddock said.


“In the market research for this initiative people indicated very clearly their desire to focus on what makes us all Australians, to emphasise our common values, and to respect, rather than reinforce, our differences.


“Constructing the campaign around this positive approach will build on and improve community harmony.”


The Minister announced that the centrepiece of the first stage of the Living in Harmony initiative is a $2.5 million Community Grants Program.


“Through this program funding will be made available to organisations able to develop projects to promote harmony between people and groups of different cultural backgrounds.


“Grant applications for organisations including schools, churches, service clubs, sporting bodies, ethnic communities, indigenous groups and other sections of the general community will be open from today, closing on 30 October 1998.


“In addition to this, a series of partnership projects between the Federal Government and key organisations from areas of national significance will commence that will generate better understanding, respect and cooperation among people of different backgrounds”.


Announcing the first three partnership projects, the Minister congratulated the Australian Cricket Board, the NSW Rural Fire Service, and national retailer Woolworths for their commitment to the goals of Living In Harmony .


Attending the launch, Malcolm Speed, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Cricket Board, said the partnership with the ACB will be of enormous benefit to both cricket and the broader community.


“Cricket is our national game and we are fortunate to be able to call on more than 100 years of achievement at national level. Our team is currently best in the world but cricket knows that it cannot rest on its laurels.


“We want to ensure that the opportunity to play the game is open to everyone and that each and every Australian feels welcome within cricket.


“Cricket in the future must reflect the face of the Australian community, and this partnership will help us achieve that goal”.


NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner, Phil Koperberg, said the partnership with his organisation will highlight the unique Australian quality of helping each other in times of crisis.


“The bush fire fighter is symbolic of the Australian tradition. Fire fighting takes a lot of skill and experience and extensive training and we need to ensure that people volunteer from all cultural and racial backgrounds. This will enable us to have a rural fire fighting force that continues to have its roots deep in the community. Anything other than a multicultural service would be abhorrent to me”.


As CEO of one of the largest employers of people from non-English speaking backgrounds in Australia, Woolworths, Mr Reg Clairs outlined his strong support for the Government’s partnership project with the national retailer.


“Our corporation is proud of the fact that we offer employment to all Australians and we believe that the united contribution of those employees has enabled this company to grow to the success that it has”.


The second stage of Living in Harmony , a media strategy, will be launched later this year.


Information on how to apply for a grant under the Community Grants Program can be obtained by phoning 1800 331 100 for an application kit, (02) 6264 2424 for a general inquiry, or through the internet on or



Friday, 14 August, 1998


Media Inquiries:


Ministers Office: Brad Robinson (02) 6277 7860 or 0419 278 715.

Media Liaison: Lisa Norris/Nicole Hercus (02) 9281 6416