By Neeraj Nanda
MELBOURNE, 18 May 2021: With rumors of an impending Federal election this year, political parties have started engaging with different segments of society. The Coalition, Labor, and Greens are active in multicultural communities (read non-Anglo Saxons), wooing them for their votes. Multiculturalism and inclusiveness are the keywords in many upcoming election battles. The pandemic hurt everyone including the multicultural communities. No doubt, Australia fared better than many countries in eliminating the Covid-19 virus, the recent India flights issue has left simmering discontent among stakeholders. Multicultural communities know their strength matters in Australia’s rather close elections.
Labor’s Multicultural Engagement Taskforce set up in late 2019, aimed to engage with communities to feel their pulse on issues that matter to them. Its report released by the Leader of Opposition, Anthony Albanese MP along with the Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles MP, puts forward a number of policy recommendations for how a future Labor government would improve CALD (Culturally & Linguistically Diverse) communities access to government services and provide greater support to migrant-owned businesses.
The report recommends establishing a New Enterprise Incentive Scheme: Arrive and Thrive program to support new migrants and CALD communities in Australia in setting up small businesses.
In his launch speech at the Italian Museum, Anthony Albanese said, ” Multiculturalism has contributed so much to Australia. Still, some have been left behind. This report is a Labor tradition and in a troubled world, we see conflicts with religious and ethnic differences. So, multiculturalism is a great task.
And, Australia’s diversity always enriches us.”
PART OF ANTONY ALBANESE LAUNCH ADDRESS (See Video)
Taking the issue further Peter Khalil MP, Chair of the Taskforce said, ” We still have a lot of work to do. It should be more than a buzzword. Multiculturalism is at risk because of the rise of the Far Right.
There is a long way to go to get equal opportunities for different ethnic communities.”
PART OF PETER KHALIL’s ADDRESS (See Video)
“Despite accounting for roughly a quarter of the Australian population, people of diverse ethnic backgrounds make up just a fraction of senior leaders in Australia. Fundamentally our parliaments, universities, and corporate boardrooms are closed shops.
“The report we’ve launched today is an important first step in building a more representative Australia, where people of diverse backgrounds feel as though no door is closed to them, ” Peter Khalil said.
Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles also addressed the gathering and Anne Stanley MP, Secretary of the Taskforce was present among others.
PART OF ANDREW GILES SPEECH