Australia should be proud of its world-class settlement services, the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Senator Kate Lundy, has said.
Ms. Lundy made the remarks at the Migration & Multiculturalism: Lessons from Europe and Australia conference in Canberra.
Focusing on recent trends in migration in Europe and Australia, the conference put the spotlight on policy lessons that can be drawn from Europe and Australia, highlighting Australia's successful settlement of migrants in society.
“This conference points to Australian multiculturalism as a great achievement. Many countries look to Australia wanting to learn about our experiences in successfully settling migrants,” Senator Lundy said. “Our brand of multiculturalism has been underpinned by practical settlement strategies – including migrant resource centres, multicultural youth organisations, English tuition centres and cultural orientation programs.”
She added that the Gillard Government works to ensure Australia remains a just, inclusive and socially cohesive society where everyone can participate in the opportunities the country offers.
“Our settlement services are world-class and form the backbone of our migration program to connect new arrivals with the wider Australian community,” Senator Lundy said. “Our citizenship policy is non-discriminatory and inclusive, which has resulted in Australia having one of the highest uptakes of citizenship in the world.”
Senator Lundy said claims that multiculturalism had failed did not relate to the brand of multiculturalism that has been a remarkable success in Australia.
“In some parts of the world, multiculturalism has been about allowing people of other ethnic or cultural backgrounds to be themselves and to be left alone or with little support,” Senator Lundy said. “In Australia, it involves a sustained effort in making it work.”
The conference was hosted by the Australian National University Centre for European Studies.