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AMEP [Adult Migrant English Program] 50th anniversary celebrations launched in NSW.

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Media Release

Philip Ruddock MP

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation


AMEP 50th Anniversary celebrations 

launched in NSW

MPS 154/98

The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Mr Philip Ruddock, today launched celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) in New South Wales.

Mr Ruddock said the celebrations paid worthy tribute to what has become one of the biggest human success stories in Australia's history, with nearly 40 000 new arrivals from nearly 90 language backgrounds now learning English under the program.

"The AMEP is one of Australia's key migrant settlement schemes which has helped 1.5 million migrants since it commenced in 1948.

"The program is going from strength to strength in helping vast numbers of adult migrants and refugees learn English and therefore settle more successfully in Australia, find employment and avoid social isolation".

A highlight of the celebration was the Minister's unveiling of a new publication entitled "Journeys: Stories from the Adult Migrant English Program" which documents for the first time the experiences of a wide range of former AMEP students from all over the world.

"The stories these people tell all have one common thread - the welcome and help they received through the AMEP program.

"Such success underpins the Government's ongoing commitment to assisting the settlement of new arrivals to Australia through the allocation of $95 million per year to the AMEP".

Mr Ruddock also praised the ongoing success of the Wanyaarri educational program he originally launched last year.

"My responsibilities now incorporate the crucial area of reconciliation and it is gratifying to see that the Wanyaarri program is teaching new arrivals about the original Australians and the richness of Aboriginal culture and its traditions.

"Wanyaarri stops the development of negative attitudes based on false stereotypes. It is ground-breaking and uniquely Australian."

The AMEP's 50th anniversary celebrations will continue throughout the year and into early 1999, culminating in a major international conference: "The AMEP: 50 Years of Nation Building" to be held on 10-12 February in Melbourne.

Thursday, 10 December 1998  

Media Inquiries: Brad Robinson (02) 6277 7860 or 0419 278 715