Australian Multicultural Council – 5th Meeting Outcomes

5th Meeting, 23 November 2016

The Australian Multicultural Council met at the Museum of Democracy, Old Parliament House, Canberra, for its second meeting of 2016.

The Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs, Senator the Hon Zed Seselja attended the meeting in the morning to discuss with members the development of a new multicultural statement.

The Assistant Minister confirmed that Council members would play a key advisory role in the development of a new statement which would be a celebration of Australia’s diversity and its national unity.  He emphasised that he wanted a statement that would focus on those values which unite people living in Australia – fairness, mutual respect, freedom of religion, our democratic traditions, equality of men and women, and compassion.

Council members advised the Assistant Minister that a new statement should communicate in simple language, include practical examples and be aimed at mainstream Australia.  They also stressed that it should also communicate, as much as possible, with those who do not currently experience diversity.

Council members agreed to provide the Assistant Minister with interim written advice and a suggested, expanded, stakeholder engagement strategy.

Associate Professor Ben Edwards and Dr Rebecca Jenkinson from the Australian Institute of Family Studies attended the meeting to update Council members on key findings of the research project Empowering Migrant and Refugee Women.  

This research was commissioned at the Council’s behest to help focus its advice to Government on practical strategies to empower culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) women in the areas of women’s safety, economic empowerment and leadership.

The final report is expected to be finalised by 10 February 2017.

During the meeting, Council was also briefed by officers from the Department of Social Services about the Third Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022.

The Third Action Plan represents the halfway mark of the National Plan and outlines what all governments, communities, businesses and individuals can do to reduce violence against women and their children through 36 practical actions across six national priority areas.

No meeting dates have yet been set for 2017.

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