Living multiculturalism and supporting the Welcoming Cities network
The Canberra Liberals are proud of Australia’s multicultural history. Currently, three of the eleven Liberal MLAs in the ACT Assembly are migrants who found a future in this beautiful country, including me. Our recently deceased colleague Steve Doszpot came to Australia as a refugee after spending time in various resettlement camps. As a party, we take satisfaction in the warm welcome that our nation gives to new Australians from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
Just last night, I had the opportunity to meet a refugee from Afghanistan, who generously provided beautiful artwork for an event that I held in honour of Harmony Day. As she explained, when she was young, she had never even heard of Australia, but she knew in her heart that there must be somewhere where life could be better for her. Now she and her young son have found that better life here with us. Her gratitude for having been accepted into a new home where she is safe and free is impossible to miss!
Research has found strong positive links between culturally and linguistically diverse populations and things such as business performance, educational outcomes, technological and workplace innovation, improved decision-making, increased creativity, community resilience, liveability, economic sustainability, and, of course, the simple enjoyment that comes from enjoying each other’s company.
For all these reasons, today I rose in the Assembly to express the Liberals’ support for Canberra’s membership in Welcoming Cities, a network of jurisdictions committed to fostering greater social cohesion and better economic success as our population increases and our cultural diversity grows. Residents with an assortment of cultures and different faiths, often speaking a multitude of languages, enrich our city, and we all need to make sure that everyone belongs.