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Multicultural policy to speak to all Australians.



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Senator Chris Evans Minister for Immigration and Citizenship  

Multicultural policy to speak to all Australians Senator Chris Evans and Parlimentary Secretary Laurie Ferguson - Joint media release

Friday, 30 April 2010

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, Laurie Ferguson, today welcomed the Australian Multicultural Advisory Council’s (AMAC) advice to government.

AMAC chair Andrew Demetriou presented the statement, entitled The People of Australia, to Senator Evans at a function at the Immigration Museum in Melbourne.

Senator Evans thanked council members for their time, effort and dedication.

‘Council members have already contributed significantly to the success of a diverse Australia. They have ensured this advice to government is based on extensive community consultations,’ Senator Evans said.

‘Australia's approach to immigration and cultural diversity is a national strength but it is a strength which should not be taken for granted.

‘The government is committed to ensuring that future multicultural policy is based on participation and inclusion.

‘It is a policy that is about all Australians and it should seek to benefit us all.’

Senator Evans said AMAC would be extended for a second term of two years. One of its tasks in the next term would be the development of a long-term strategy for increased settlement in rural and regional locations.

‘We need to ensure that people settle in communities where they find a job rather than settling in communities where they are destined to join a job queue,’ Senator Evans said.

‘People who come to Australia, be they refugees or migrants, want to integrate and contribute to our community. There is an onus on government to provide that opportunity to all.’

Senator Evans has also asked the council to identify policy initiatives that work at the neighbourhood level to strengthen local communities.

‘In every street in Australia, families should be able to depend on their neighbours, have their children play in safety and know that a helping hand will be extended to all,’ he said.

Mr Ferguson said advisory groups such as AMAC provided important and practical perspectives in the process of shaping government policy.

‘By seeking advice from bodies such as AMAC, the government taps into valuable expertise at a number of levels,’ Mr Ferguson said.

‘We owe much of what we enjoy in Australia today to our migrant heritage and we must strive to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to contribute to Australia.’

The Australian Multicultural Advisory Council's statement on cultural diversity and recommendations to government is available on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's website. See: The People of Australia (1.0MB PDF file)

See: Index of Media Releases

URL: http://www.minister.immi.gov.au /media/media-releases/2010/ce10033.htm Last update: 30 April 2010 at 15:06 AEST