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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 August 2021) . . Page.. 2321 ..

(i) assisted to develop their knowledge and understanding of Australia’s social and political systems, and reinforce knowledge of their rights and responsibilities;

(ii) supported to share their own stories and opinions, to ensure that their voices help to shape Australia’s civic and political landscape; and

(iii) supported to preserve their own cultural identity and values (for example, through establishing cultural community associations and facilitating celebrations)”;

(d) language is an integral part of cultural retention, and the invaluable work of Canberra’s community language schools to provide language, and cultural connection and training; and

(e) the work that the ACT Government has undertaken to improve the accessibility of programs and services for the multicultural community, such as holding community workshops and simplifying grant guidelines;

(2) further notes that despite these contributions:

(a) multicultural community organisations have reported having difficulty successfully obtaining government grants to allow them full cultural and civic participation;

(b) multicultural communities face a range of barriers in equitably accessing government processes, for example, submissions and consultation; and

(c) many local community language schools do not have secure tenure over their classroom space, and their funding allocation has not been updated in more than a decade; and

(3) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) table the independent review of Canberra community language schools, including its recommendations, and the ACT Government response, by 31 October 2021, and for the ACT Government response to consider ways to:

(i) ensure the status and stability of Canberra’s community language schools by investigating long-term affordable access to suitable venues in which to hold their classes;

(ii) enhance the quality, efficacy and financial sustainability of Canberra’s community language schools by reviewing per head funding, looking to other states’ funding models as a benchmark; and

(iii) investigate providing training through Canberra Institute of Technology at minimal or zero cost to community group volunteers to enhance their skills, invest in the community sector, and provide transferrable skills and qualifications;

(b) commit to ensuring that the ACT, via both government and community services, meets National Settlement Outcomes Standards published by the Settlement Council of Australia;

(c) commit to increasing the accessibility of grants to multicultural community groups, for example, through:

(i) increasing the ability for peak bodies to auspice small grants programs with minimal barriers to entry; and

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