Taking stock of multicultural Australia

An  unusual  alliance between a first generation migrant  and fourth generation Australian has bridged the cultural  divide and  seen the timely launch of the Parliamentary Friends of Multiculturalism.At the launch in parliament house on March 24, Labor Member for Calwell Maria Vamvakinou and Liberal Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent said as the group’s co-convenors they were united in promoting the benefits of multiculturalism.

“Australia is a diverse society - it is part of who we are as Australians both in the city and the bush.Some European leaders have suggested that multiculturalism has failed in Europe, Australian society is quite different,” Ms Vamvakinou said.“Migration has brought enormous benefits to Australia, adding to the vibrancy of our society and increasing its productivity.
“To walk away from multiculturalism is to walk away from success,’’ Mr Broadbent said.
Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president and Australian ACT Ambassador Ikebal Patel said he was honoured to be the group’s guest speaker. “Multiculturalism is about creating harmonious relations…..”
Ms Vamvakinou and Mr Broadbent were that the launch has generated so much interest and was attended by almost 50 MPs and dozens  from of ambassadors from the diplomatic corp.The launch was attended by  21 ambassadors from  countries as diverse as Mexico, France, Greece, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.The  group’s inaugural launch will be followed by satellite events in different states and territories, starting with Victoria.

Picture caption: Parliamentary Secretray for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Kate Lund High Commisssioner for Uganda Dr Lukabyo, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen and Federal Member for Calwell Maria Vamvakinou at the launch of the Parliamentary Friends of Multiculturalism.