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Policy Update – Multiculturalism – June 5 2017

SCoA’s policy update regarding two recent important Federal consultations: “Strengthening Multiculturalism” and “Strengthening Citizenship”

Multiculturalism and Citizenship

In recent weeks, the Settlement Council has contributed to two inquiries that have the potential to significantly impact the settlement prospects of migrants in Australia.

The first, the Senate Inquiry into Strengthening Multiculturalism, provided an opportunity to showcase the contribution of the settlement sector to ensuring that migrants from all backgrounds achieve the best possible settlement outcomes, as well as the value this work has for fostering and enhancing Australia’s rich cultural diversity.

SCoA has long held the belief that multiculturalism is not merely a tokenistic gesture, but rather a crucial foundation on which Australia has been built. Our nation depends upon, and thrives as a result of, an open, welcoming and inclusive multicultural society.

SCoA’s submission to the Strengthening Multiculturalism Inquiry can be found below.

SCoA Submission to Strengthening Multiculturalism – 30 May 2017

We are confident that this opportunity to consider a variety of matters that could enhance and promote multiculturalism into the future is a very positive step and we look forward to reviewing the outcomes.

At the same time, as has been the subject of recent SCoA discussions, the government has announced the implementation of a number of changes intended to strengthen citizenship.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has been charged with drafting legislation to implement the announced changes and, as part of that process, engaged in a public consultation which closed on 1 June 2017.

To inform its input into this consultation, SCoA conducted a member survey. We are grateful to those members who took the opportunity to respond. Your views and comments were crucial to the formation of our submission.

SCoA’s submission to the Department can be found below. In it, we have raised concerns on behalf of the sector in relation to the nature and proposed structure of the government’s announced changes.

SCoA Submission on Citizenship – 1 Jun 2017

As an alternative to those changes, SCoA has recommended a series of other methods by which the government could strengthen Australian citizenship. These would, we believe, enable Australia to promote and foster the values to which it subscribes, while at the same time ensuring social cohesion and maintaining our multicultural society.

We look forward to further engaging with government about these matters and will keep our members updated as to their progress.

For further information please contact the National Office on 02 6282 8515 or