Multicultural Australia: United in Diversity

Updating the 1999 New Agenda for Multicultural Australia: Strategic directions for 2003-2006

Multicultural Australia: United in Diversity is a new statement of the Australian Government’s multicultural policy. It reaffirms the Government’s commitment to the1999 New Agenda for Multicultural Australia, and articulates the strategic directions for multicultural policy for the next three years. It gives emphasis to promoting community harmony and the benefits of our cultural diversity for all Australians.

In the Forward the Prime Minister writes:

This new statement reaffirms the government’s commitment to promoting diversity, understanding and tolerance in all areas of endeavour. These actions are especially important given the tragic events of 11 September 2001 in the United States of America and 12 October 2002 in Bali and the changed global environment in which we live.

The aim of the Government’s Australian Multiculturalism Policy is to build on our success as a culturally diverse, accepting and open society, united through a shared future and a commitment to our nation, its democratic institutions and values, and the rule of law. This vision is reflected in the four principles that underpin multicultural policy: Responsibilities for all; Respect for each person; Fairness for each person; and Benefits for all.

The Government’s Strategic directions for the next three years will address the issues of national security and domestic community harmony and build on the achievements of the New Agenda with particular focus on young people, regional and rural Australia, local government, business and media.

Australia’s respect for cultural diversity makes the nation one of the most harmonious societies in the world. The Government will continue to promote Community Harmony and social cohesion in the current international environment where culture, ethnicity and religion have become more sensitive and emotive matters. The Government will continue with the Living in Harmony initiative, including Harmony Day activities.

The primary objective of the Access and Equity strategy is to ensure that government services and programs provide for the diversity in Australian society enabling each person to participate fully in our multicultural society, realise their personal aspirations, and benefit Australia.

The Government will continue to pursue the Productive Diversity program which promotes the economic benefits that can be derived in both the domestic and international markets by capitalising on Australia’s wealth of cultural and linguistic skills and on the social and business networks of Australia’s migrants.

The Government is committed to integrating its Access and Equity and Productive Diversity strategies resulting in economic and social equity benefits and enhanced Community Harmony.

The Council for Multicultural Australia assists the Government to build on achievements with a renewed strategic focus on promoting community harmony and the benefits of our cultural diversity.

Source: Department of Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs, Multicultural Australia

Theme: Cultural diversity and multiculturalism