Diversity The Hallmark Of Democracy

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30th October 2009, 01:01pm - Views: 1072
Media release

Diversity the Hallmark of Democracy

Diversity in perspectives, experiences and knowledge make Australia strong as a democratic nation, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, today told the annual conference of the Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia (FECCA).

Senator Evans also said that Australian citizenship has played an invaluable role in building social cohesion in Australia over the past 60 years.

"Australian citizenship will continue to unify the millions of people from diverse backgrounds who live in this country and will continue to be a symbol of hope and aspiration for many more who will look to this country as a place where they can build a better life," Senator Evans said.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, Laurie Ferguson, said the Australian Government was developing a new settlement framework to ensure our programs work together and are focused on the needs of new migrants."

"The pathway to real belonging is to build the communication and social and economic participation skills of our communities. Everyone wants to be proud of their identity and participate fully in Australian life," Mr Ferguson said.

Senator Evans and Mr Ferguson also acknowledged the work of the many individuals and organisations that are part of FECCA and their efforts to help new settlers adapt to life in Australia.

FECCA is the national peak body representing Australian ethnic organisations. It works to raise awareness of Australia's cultural and linguistic diversity and advocates options for a just and inclusive society.

The FECCA biennial conference is Australia's pre-eminent multicultural conference and this year is being staged in Shepparton with the theme Strengthening Multiculturalism and Building Social Inclusion.

Media contacts: Simon Dowding (Senator Evans)
0411 138 541

Carla Wilshire (Mr Ferguson)
0432 755 935

SOURCE: Minister for Immigration and Citizenship;Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs

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