Letter Published In The Age 26 January 2008

Sam Afra, Chairman, ECCV

In commemorating Australia day, Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) celebrates the cultural and linguistic diversity that our vibrant multicultural society has been built upon, including the important place of the traditional owners of the land in Australian society. Australians from migrant backgrounds helped build our great nation but many are disadvantaged and face barriers to enjoying the same opportunities as mainstream Australia. After many years of the ‘Multicultural’ word being shunned it was heartening to hear Kevin Rudd state that he would be a Prime Minister for all Australians, including those ‘who have come here from afar and have contributed to the great diversity that is our nation’. Implementing policies that close the gap between the standard of living enjoyed by mainstream Australia and that of some of our culturally and linguistically diverse communities should be a key priority for the new government. On this Australia Day let's focus on the things that unite us--including our cultural diversity and the contribution of our migrant communities which is undoubtedly one of our great strengths.

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