Page 1274 - Week 04 - Thursday, 5 May 2022

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Government—multicultural affairs

MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Minister, given the ACT government’s intention to support multicultural communities in light of this year’s National Multicultural Festival postponement, can you please provide an update on some of the actions and activities undertaken so far this year?

MS CHEYNE: I thank Mr Pettersson for the question. Following on from the positive engagement with our local multicultural communities at Australia Day and Canberra Day events this year, the ACT government is continuing to support our culturally and linguistically diverse city through a host of recent and ongoing initiatives.

I recently announced the provision of $180,000 in funding, through the 2021-22 Participation (Multicultural) Grants Program, to over 50 community organisations. Projects funded through these grants range from refugee scholarship initiatives to multicultural sports tournaments. They will support local groups to promote community inclusion and to build social connections.

This is in addition to almost $180,000 from this year’s National Multicultural Festival grants, which have supported over 60 community organisations to deliver events and activities like the upcoming European Festival, later this month, and many other national, cultural and faith-based celebrations throughout 2022. Most recently, several Ramadan celebrations have been held across the territory, including an ACT government Iftar dinner.

I am pleased to also share that applications are currently open for the Multicultural Ambassadors program and this year’s Multicultural Awards.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, can you please provide details about the ACT government’s Iftar dinner and other activities related to Ramadan?

MS CHEYNE: We proudly host the ACT government Ramadan Iftar dinner each year to celebrate and acknowledge the importance of Ramadan as the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. This event also recognises the more than 5,000 members of the Islamic faith who call Canberra home.

The 2022 ACT government Ramadan Iftar dinner was held on 14 April at the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre and was attended by over 100 representatives from the local community, business and government organisations. I extend my thanks to Minister Stephen-Smith, who was able to fill in for me when I had to attend to a family matter. The Community Services Directorate will continue to work closely with leaders from the Canberra Muslim community to plan, deliver and co-host this key event in future.

Several Ramadan celebrations were supported by multicultural participation grants and National Multicultural Festival grants. I would like to acknowledge the participation of members from right across the chamber at Iftar dinners organised across Canberra over the last month.

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