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Tasmanians talk to promote community relations.

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Laurie Ferguson MP Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services

Tasmanians talk to promote community relations

Monday, 28 April 2008

The Australian Government is funding a University of Tasmania project on ways to promote stronger community relations between new arrivals from Africa and the broader Tasmanian community.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, Laurie Ferguson, said today the Tasmanians Talking project would help people in Hobart and Launceston build stronger relations by getting to know each other.

'More than 1200 African people have settled in Tasmania since 2003,' Mr Ferguson said.

'This project will provide opportunities for people to talk about their own culture and experiences, hear about the culture and experiences of others, and learn about life in Tasmania.

Mr Ferguson said settlement of new arrivals relied on coordinated support from all levels of government working with community organisations, volunteers, neighbours and friends.

'The University of Tasmania has consulted with local councils and groups including African communities to bring this project together,' Mr Ferguson said.

'The Department of Immigration and Citizenship had provided $125 000 for the project.'

Mr Ferguson said workshops on racism and positive engagement with communities would be held in six local government areas in Hobart and Launceston.

'Promoting inclusiveness and a sense of belonging is crucial for new arrivals to feel committed to their new home,' Mr Ferguson added.

Media contact: Khaldoun Hajaj 02 6277 4920 or 0404 078 692