Diverse Australia 2020 Crowd Bodes Well For Multicultural Future

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3rd April 2008, 02:44pm - Views: 802
Media release

Laurie Ferguson MP Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services

03 April 2008

Diverse Australia 2020 Crowd Bodes Well for Multicultural Future

The diverse make-up of participants in next month's Australia 2020 Summit promises to build further cohesion among Australia's many and varied cultural groups, the Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, Laurie Ferguson, said today.

"What pleases me most about reading the Australia 2020 `honour roll' is the vast array of cultural backgrounds and religions Prime Minister Rudd will draw upon to put ideas forward," Mr Ferguson said.

"I see names such as former Young Australian of the Year Khoa Do, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners president Vasantha Preetham, multiculturalism and anti- racism campaigner Jason Yat-sen Li, youth campaigner Alan Wu, Muslim youth leader Fadi Rahman, National Australia Bank chief executive Ahmed Fahour, Centre for Muslim States and Societies director Samina Yasmeen, academic and media commentator Waleed Aly and Nobel literature laureate John Coetzee.

But with some 45 per cent of Australians either born overseas themselves or having a parent born overseas, such people represent but a snapshot of the unique range of cultures and skill sets that contribute to our nation's diverse strengths.

I wish to congratulate steering committee chairman Glyn Davis on his selections and all representatives on their appointment. I am confident their involvement can only lead to a better, more understanding, more prosperous and inclusive Australia."

The summit, to be staged at Parliament House on the weekend of April 19-20, brings together 1000 leading Australians to discuss the nation's long-term future. Almost 8000 applications were received.

"There is sure to be some interesting discussion on how Australia sees itself as a multicultural society. I look forward to taking these insights on board," the parliamentary secretary said.

"When I think about what lies ahead in the 10 critical discussion areas of the summit, I find it exciting that each topic will be considered through a well-informed, knowledgeable and importantly culturally and demographically diverse group of people.

This augurs well for the long-term future of multicultural Australia. I look forward to embracing my role as a spectator," Mr Ferguson added.

For more information on the Australia 2020 Summit, visit www.australia2020.gov.au

Media Contact: Khaldoun Hajaj - 0404 078 692

SOURCE: Hon Laurie Ferguson, Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services

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