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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 November 2021) . . Page.. 3659 ..


anxieties, a framework that fosters consultation and promotes intercultural dialogue between government, existing entities and emerging communities.

Moreover, the proposed multicultural charter highlights freedom and equality but different groups face different issues that can lead to a disproportionate level of engagement. As such, it is beholden on government to be the one that needs to do the outreach.

When we have conversations about multiculturalism, it is integral not to cluster groups as one entity. The multicultural space is dynamic. Growth is accompanied by diversity and disproportionality in capacity, engagement and opportunities. As such, we must not be complacent to existing structures. It is our responsibility to ensure that emerging communities can access services, advocate for their rights and representation.

We must reach out to those emerging communities to consolidate pathways of information and strengthen relations. This can be done through the physical action of attending community events, visiting places of congregation. Actions can also be done digitally through local media and regular emails expressing that the government is concerned, that the government is willing to listen. But to do so, we must expand our information networks.

Whilst we should promote community events to showcase culture, it is also essential to create tangible change. Greater representation in media and leadership is fundamental to empowering CALD individuals. Providing them opportunities through workshops, forums, leadership development and skills and development training will give tangible power to marginalised communities. It is also vital to extend invitations and outreach to under-represented groups in the multicultural community. This will in turn strengthen social cohesion and promote genuine inclusion.

There are efforts to advocate for multiculturalism, and I applaud the endeavours undertaken by the community organisations and their peak bodies. But I believe the government holds the potential to do better. I believe that facilitating training, workshops and leadership development can ensure equity for marginalised communities.

In closing, I would like to thank Ms Ericha Smyth for writing this speech. Ms Smyth is of Indonesian descent and has been working in my office on how we can increase multicultural communities’ involvement in democracy and government processes and I, for one, am very grateful for her work.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (5.51): I rise today to speak on Appropriation Bill 2021-22 as it relates to my shadow portfolio of women. The year 2021 has been a monumental one for women. We have seen Australian women collectively call out poor behaviour and demand better as a society. It started with the announcement of Grace Tame as Australian of the Year.

Then a short time later we saw the March for Justice across Australia, and many of us in this place went to those rallies. Here in Canberra it was at Parliament House. We


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