Australia’s Multicultural Policy

Multicultural is a term that describes the cultural and linguistic diversity of Australian society. Cultural and linguistic diversity was a way of life for the first Australians, well before European settlement. It remains a feature of modern Australian life, and it continues to give Australia distinct social, cultural and economic advantages.

Australia’s multicultural policy, ‘The People of Australia’, was launched in Sydney on 16 February
2011. It is a landmark policy that demonstrates the government’s unwavering commitment to a multicultural Australia. As the policy states, Australian society’s multicultural composition is at the heart of Australia’s national identity and intrinsic to its history and character.

The policy embraces our shared values, cultural traditions, commits to fairness, equality and inclusion for all people in Australia and in order to achieve that the policy promotes zero tolerance for discrimination on grounds of religion, race, gender, culture, language, ethnicity and caste. It recognises our rights and responsibilities as enshrined in our citizenship pledge and supports the rights of all Australians to celebrate, practice and maintain their cultural heritage, traditions and language within the law and free from discrimination.

Multicultural policy is also significant because it helps Australia to meet its important international obligations under the Convention Against Racial Discrimination and the Universal Periodic Review. Australian Human Rights Commission work with the Australian Government to deliver specific strategies and programs that enables the full potential of this policy to be realised.

The ‘The People of Australia’ policy is available here.