Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 3 Hansard (14 March) . . Page.. 539..
Ms MacDonald: What about the people who lived here before that?
MR STEFANIAK: I said "modern Australia", Ms MacDonald—listen. In the 19th century there were people from some other parts of the world who came here—people especially for the gold rush, people of Chinese extraction who came out here in the 1850s—and we see some old, distinguished families in the Canberra region from that particular migration. I refer, in fact, to the Nomchong family from Braidwood. I had the pleasure to go out and see some celebration at Braidwood on Saturday; it was pleasing to reflect on that famous family of Chinese extraction which has done much for the Braidwood region but also the ACT. I think they must be up to the fifth or sixth generation.
There were a small number of people from various other ethnic backgrounds who came here up until World War II, a not insignificant number of people from the Italian and Greek communities who came here between the wars, and of course after World War II the first amount of mass migration from Europe, and especially of people from non-Anglo-Celtic backgrounds. That is probably something reflected in the Assembly, with families such as mine and Mr Seselja's, who were from that postwar generation who came out to Australia and made their homes here. Since then we have seen people from other parts of the globe. We have now got, as I said, about 160 different nationalities in Canberra.
Ms MacDonald had a swipe—possibly slightly more gently than I thought she might, but nevertheless a swipe—at the federal government in relation to this, which I think is somewhat inappropriate. In a way, it is: what's in a name? That is why I think Mr Pratt's amendment to the motion is a very good one because it talks about the rich diversity and our harmony and the successful integration. It talks about people emulating our model. It keeps in the important role of the National Multicultural Festival in promoting and celebrating multiculturalism in the ACT and it is very much a more inclusive motion, which is so important in this area. It is rather cheap, in a way, to have a go at the federal government on this.
There have been a number of significant milestones in terms of migration to Australia in recent times, starting off with Arthur Calwell—"Cocky"Calwell—and his immigration scheme after the war. It was the scheme that saw my father, amongst others, come out here. That was picked up and enhanced by the Menzies government and since then we have seen further emphasis placed on inclusiveness, harmony and building on our strengths as a community of many, many different diverse cultures through the seventies, through the Whitlam government, through the Fraser government, through the Hawke and Keating governments and now of course through to the Howard government.
Australians are a very inclusive lot. We have developed our own unique culture here. It has been greatly enhanced by all groups who have come here, ranging from the first human habitation of this country 45,000 years ago, through to the colonisation of Australia by the British and the Anglo-Celts and to other diverse groups that have come here over the last 200 years. It is interesting to reflect on perhaps some words spoken by Dr George Zubrzycki—of Polish extraction with a name like that, obviously—who, I think, coined the term "multiculturalism"in 1968 but in more