Multicultural Review launched
The federal government’s Multicultural Framework Review has been launched by Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Minister Andrew Giles who has declared the review open to submissions.
Launching the initiative, Minister Giles said the review was the next step in building a stronger multicultural Australia.
“We’re calling on all Australians to submit their views on what our national approach to multiculturalism could look like, to ensure no one is left behind and everyone feels that they truly belong,” Minister Giles said.
“For the first time ever, the Department of Home Affairs will be able to receive submissions in all languages, including in writing, via audio or video recording on the Review website,” he said.
“Now, the Review will consider the institutional arrangements and policy settings at the Commonwealth level to ensure they advance a multicultural Australia, support our cohesive and inclusive multicultural society, and are fit for purpose in harnessing the talents of all Australians.
“We really want to hear from a range of voices sharing their lived experiences, their views on what is working well and what could be improved to advance our multicultural nation,” Minister Giles said.
The federal government has prioritised accessibility to a variety of languages with information on the review now available in 35 languages.
Minister Giles said the review coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Whitlam Government’s 1973 report, ‘A Multi-cultural Society for the Future’ that marked the delivery of multicultural policy for Australia.
The review will assess the institutional structures and policy frameworks at the national level, to boost multicultural Australia, and augment “social cohesion and harmony.”
Minister Giles said that the review of multiculturalism was aimed at ensuring “that the capabilities of every Australian citizen are nurtured”.
He added that any review to date has tended to be a “top-down” process and this aims to be a more inclusive and open process for all.
“Multiculturalism has been instrumental to Australia’s success since it was launched by Gough Whitlam’s government and will continue to be one of the key forces shaping our nation.
“We want to ensure that we have the right policies and institutions to meet the needs of our increasingly diverse society,” Giles said.
“We are about by engaging with community and listening, to established and newly arrived culturally and linguistically diverse communities,” Giles said.
“We want to hear from a range of voices sharing their lived experiences, their views on what is working well, and what could be improved to advance a multicultural Australia.
“The Government has prioritised accessibility to a variety of languages and cultural groups so that everyone, no matter what language they speak, can have their say,” Minister Giles said.
Dr Hass Dellal, the head of the Australian Multicultural Foundation and former chair of SBS, has been entrusted with “physically engaging with the community and meeting peak government and advocacy bodies.”
Minister Giles listed some of the key issues impacting multicultural communities, such as “aged care, whether it’s at home or in institutions, is for the older communities,” job markets, and entrepreneurial skills, as well as settlement services for newly arrived communities.
“I want to open up to big questions, about how it feels like to be living in a country like Australia as a member of a culturally and linguistically diverse multicultural community,” he said.
The Multicultural Review final report will be delivered to the government next year.
Community organisations and members of the public can make their submissions via the Review website until 29 September 2023.
Make a submission here: Multicultural Framework Review (homeaffairs.gov.au)