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Message from the FECCA Conference

23 June 20220 comments

The organisers of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia 2022 Conference have issued communique calling for reform of Australia’s migration system and support for indigenous recognition.

The communique says urgent reform of the migration system is needed at all levels “to ensure a system that is transparent, fair and humane for all who want to call Australia home”.

It came following the conference held in Melbourne recently which saw more than 900 people gather under the theme of ‘Advancing Multicultural Australia’.

Attendees came from all over Australia and represented a diverse range of cultures, ages, professions and experiences – reflecting Australia’s vibrant multiculturalism.

Over two days, a broad range of issues were discussed from belonging to aged care, leadership to racism.

“The issues and opportunities facing our communities are not niche and are central to Australia’s future. Working with us to ensure all people are included equally at every level of society is a question at the heart of Australian identity,” said FECCA chair Mary Patetsos.

The communique said:

“A truly inclusive and equitable society must start with recognition and justice for First Nations peoples. We are proud to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart and are committed to building support for its calls across multicultural communities.

“Reform of Australia’s federal multicultural framework is urgently needed to build a strong future where everyone can belong and thrive equally. We are calling for multicultural organisations and communities to lead this process.

“Multicultural communities have the answers, give us a seat at the table. Working in partnership with us to create genuinely inclusive policies and practices, is essential at every stage.

“Robust communication and engagement with all people in Australia, regardless of their cultural or linguistic identity must be a priority for everyone.

“The current migration system is causing unnecessary harm and vulnerability across our communities. It needs urgent reform at all levels to ensure a system that is transparent, fair and humane for all who want to call Australia home.

“We need to recognise the expertise and leadership that refugees, asylum seekers and migrants bring to our country. Bilingual and bicultural workers are the backbone of the caring sector: health, ageing and social care.

“Everyone in Australia deserves and has a right to belong equally. It is only by ensuring that all people feel like they belong, that the full benefits of diversity and multiculturalism can be enjoyed by all Australians.”