VMC advocates for national change

28 August 2017

The Victorian Multicultural Commission has advocated for national changes at a Federal Parliamentary Inquiry to strengthen multiculturalism.

The Federal Senate Select Committee on Strengthening Multiculturalism released the final report of its Inquiry on 14 August 2017 with 13 recommendations on how to protect and strengthen Australia’s multiculturalism and social inclusion.

The recommendations include views advocated by the Commission in its submission, such as the establishment of a federal body to lead the coordination of settlement services, the development of a federal multicultural act and the introduction of cadetships among all public broadcasters for people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Presenting evidence to the Inquiry at a public hearing in Melbourne on 27 June 2017, Victorian Multicultural Commission Chairperson Ms Helen Kapalos spoke on various topics, including the value of a federal body – working in concert with relevant state agencies – to oversee settlement services, as well as challenging media stereotypes through opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds to train in the industry.

Ms Kapalos said that a federal multicultural act would provide the foundations to support the nation’s diversity and have a positive impact on community debates.

“I think the most significant thing is that a federal multicultural act would set up the scaffolding that really supports multicultural Australia, supports the multicultural Australia of 2017 and enshrines the principles of multiculturalism in legislation at the federal level,” said Ms Kapalos.

“That is really important in the context of these global conversations that are occurring right now, not just in terms of symbolism and leadership but in terms of harnessing community ownership,” she said.

Established in March 2017 by the Senate and chaired by Senator Richard Di Natale alongside Deputy Chair Senator Patrick Dodson, the Committee called for submissions on a wide range of issues spanning the experience of discrimination, coordination of settlement services, national mechanisms for multiculturalism, the role of the media, political leadership and national research programs on multiculturalism.

Find out more about the Inquiry and read the Select Committee’s final report.

back to listing >