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School environment positive for migrant students

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M e d i a R e l e a s e

The Hon. Philip Ruddock MR Parliament House, Canberra ACT 26CD0

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Telephone: (06) 277 7860 Facsimile: (06) 273 4144

MPS 76/96


Australia's tolerant and cohesive society has been reflected in the findings of a report on immigration and schooling launched today by the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock.

Immigration and Schooling in the 1990s, a study conducted nationally by a joint research team from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), was written by leading expert in immigrant education, Desmond Cahill, Professor of Intercultural Studies at RMIT and released by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs.

"While the report looks at a range of issues, I was pleased to see it found the general climate of Australian schools is healthy and positive for students from minority backgrounds," Mr Ruddock said.

"The Coalition Government views racism as abhorrent and it is very encouraging to read a report confirming that schools are committed to the creation of environments free of prejudice and ethnic or religious hostility."

"Racist views in our community ebb and flow over time and we should not be surprised in a nation where we value free speech so highly, that these matters occasionally come to the fore. My experience is that these matters soon pass, because most Australians do not support those views."

'The report indicates that schools are not entirely free of problems and the Government is not being complacent about this issue."

'The findings of the report underscore the importance of the Government's commitment to an anti-racism education campaign, which will be largely directed through the education system," Mr Ruddock said.

Comprehensive consultations are being conducted on the campaign to ensure it is implemented effectively and does not duplicate existing expertise and activities.

22 November 1996

Media Inquiries: Karim Barbara 0419 622 739 (today only) Steve Ingram 0419 278 714 or 06 277 7860 (all other days)

EDS NOTE: The Minister is launching the report at 11am, Casey Plaza Lecture Theatre, Bowen Street (off La Trobe), Melbourne.