Multiculturalism in Australia

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1 Session 1 Multicultural Society 1 Multiculturalism in Australia Cr. Geoff Lake President, Australian Local Government Association Australia is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. Multicultural is a term that describes the cultural and linguistic diversity of Australian society. Cultural and linguistic diversity was a feature of life for the first Australians with over 500 Aboriginal languages and different cultures. Since European settlement immigration has been a major factor that has contributed to Australia s diverse population. In the very early days of settlement, colonial leaders encouraged the immigration of free settlers to settle the land and produce the agricultural products required for the young country. Females were particularly encouraged as they could add to the capacity of the nation to increase the natural birth rate. In the mid 1800s arrived settlers from all over the world seeking to make their fortune in the Australian Gold fields. At this time a large number of Chinese immigrants arrived and ultimately settled. Australian Governments throughout the years have used immigration policy to manage Australia s population number and composition. When the population needed to expand immigration increased. When Australia has experienced labour shortages, immigration for skilled workers has increased. In addition, Australia has also met its international responsibilities in regards to accepting refugees from all over the world. Australia s population today is 22 million most of whom have ancestors that came from other parts of the world. Around 25% of the population were born outside Australia. Multiculturalism is therefore a feature of modern Australian life, and it continues to give us distinct social, cultural and business advantages. Governments at all levels need to continue to show leadership to addresses the consequences of this diversity in the interests of the individual and society as a whole. All levels of government have policies that recognise, accept, respect and celebrate our cultural diversity. But, the freedom of all Australians to express and share their cultural values is dependent on all citizens accepting and abiding by mutual civic obligations. All Australians are expected to have an overriding loyalty to Australia and its people, and to respect the basic structures and principles underwriting our democratic society. These are: the Constitution, parliamentary democracy, freedom of speech and religion, English as the national language, the rule of law, and equality. Political leadership is essential to maintain social cohesion in a multicultural society. From time to time in Australia s history politicians and segments of the Australian community have sought to exploit community prejudice and fear about racial and cultural diversity. In the mid 1900 to about 1970 Australia had an immigration policy known as the white Australia policy, at the end of the Vietnam war, concerns were expressed about the numbers of boat people (refugees) that were coming to Australia. In the late 1990s, public debate about multiculturalism and immigration became very divisive and migration was an issue in the 1998 election. More recently terrorist attacks across the world have heightened concerns about particular ethnic groups in certain parts of the country

2 Session 1 Multicultural Society 1 Fortunately, political leadership from all sides of politics and the good sense of the Australian people has seen the continuation of multiculturalism and social cohesion. Australia s multicultural policy today gives particular emphasis to: the goal of community harmony and social cohesion the government s access and equity strategy, which aims to ensure government services and programs respond to the realities of Australia s diversity promoting the benefits of our diversity for all Australians. At the national level the federal government provides strong leadership and funding to support multiculturalism across the nation. However it is up to local government to implement relevant multicultural policies at the local level sometimes with Federal Government funding. Settlement Settlement services are of considerable importance to local government. This issue deals with the capacity of communities to meet migrant needs and provide appropriate services. Humanitarian settlement is particularly sensitive given the views of many communities that insufficient resources are provided by the Australian Government to properly assist with refugee integration in society English language courses, housing, welfare etc. Newcastle and Tamworth local government areas are two high profile regional settlement areas; in Victoria, the highest concentrations are around city of Greater Dandenong, Maribyrnong and Brimbank. Local government does pick up costs associated with settlement of new arrivals and the on-going costs of ensuring longer-term migrants receive services that are accessible and deliver equitable outcomes. Language Services in Rural Areas Language services are essential to support newly arrived immigrants. Access to these services continues to be raised as a concern for many rural and regional areas. Harmony Day, 21 March In recent years well over 200 councils across Australia participated in Harmony Day activities. Harmony day is a national day for celebration of cultural diversity. This is an excellent example of how local government works with the Federal government to promote multiculturalism Anti racism The management of anti racism at the community level is extremely important. Local government is critical to this task. Local government must confront racism and work with the community to promote social harmony and social cohesion. Citizenship Local government plays an important and respected role in the partnership with the Australian Government in the process of welcoming new Australians through delivering citizenship ceremonies

3 Multiculturalism in Australia Geoff Lake President Australian Local Government Association 1 2 Outline of presentation Australia in the world 1. Overview of local government in Australia 2. Multiculturalism in Australia Where we have come from? Australia in Role played by local government Settlement Citizenship Language and support services Harmony Day/diversity Celebrating diversity and cultural 3 4 Population distribution Local government in Australia 565 councils A creation of state governments Accounts for more than 2% of GDP (expenditure of at least US$ 25 billion pa) Employs more than 180,000 people Very diverse in terms of population and area 5 6 Local Government Finances and Activities Local Government Revenue sources Property rates 38% Fess and charges 31% Grants from other governments 13% Interest 4% Other 14% Local Government expenditure Transport (incl roads) 25% Housing and community amenity 24% General Public services 15% Recreation and culture 15% Education, health and welfare 8% Other Economic affairs 4% Public order and safety 2% Other 7%

4 Australia and multiculturalism Population: 22 million 2.4% indigenous population 44% of Australians were either born overseas or have at least one overseas-born parent In 2006, 25% of the Asian born population had arrived after 2001, compared with only 7% of the European-born population Commitment to multiculturalism Settlement

5 Citizenship Language services Multi-faith, sport and education Celebrating cultural diversity Thank you

6 Session 1 Multicultural Society 1 Policy and Vision for a Multi-Cultural Society in Korea Mr. Jae-myung Lee Mayor, Seongnam City Becoming a Multi-Cultural Society As a result of inflow of immigrant workers due to lack of labor force caused by the low birthrate and aging, the increase in international marriages, and expanded immigration opportunities for overseas Koreans, the foreign residents in Korea have increased from 50 thousand in 1990 to 1.23 million in Policies regarding Multi-Culturalism and Immigration in Korea 1. Creating a Convenient Living Environment for Foreigners a. Offering administrative, information and interpretation services at Comprehensive Information Center for Foreigners b. Supporting for the social adaptation of multi-cultural families, expanding social welfare by offering basic living subsidies, unemployment insurance, and unemployment compensation c. Attracting foreign medical organizations and offering medical services 2. High-quality Integration of Society a. Promoting social education and exchange programs for understanding a multicultural society with multi-cultural families and other citizens b. Offering public advertisements ( Together Day festivals, etc.) c. Supporting the social adaptation and financial independence for spouses of immigrants d. Operating a special program for children in multi-cultural families 3. Preventing Racial Discrimination and Protecting Human Rights a. Evaluating the issues and government policies from a foreigner s point of view, and reflecting their concerns to public policies b. Establishing the refugee - supporting facilities and providing basic subsidies such as living and medical expenses 4. Establishing New Governance for a Multi-Cultural Network a. Establishing comprehensive policies for foreigners. They aim to maximize the effect of policies by adopting a systematic and focused set of policies, not sporadic. b. Establishing partnerships with NGO, NPO, local community, and educational organizations to eliminate conflicts and enhance integration into local communities Seongnam s Multi-Cultural Policies Our policies aim that the multicultural families share the same and equal services and rights as other citizens, not as foreigners. There are 23,280 registered foreigners in Seongnam (up to 2.4% of the city population). It ranked the sixth in Korea in terms of the foreigners-to-koreans ratio. Located very close to Seoul, the city is famous for its convenient transportation network. Residential areas for foreigners are formed near subway stations

7 Session 1 Multicultural Society 1 1. Establishing the Support System for Multicultural Policies a. Operating a professional organization and enacting relevant ordinances b. Operating a support center for foreigners c. Operating a free medical center (2,449 patients served by 2009) d. Interpretation and translation service (general, medical, legal, educational and other cases/ total 449 cases) 2. Supporting for Social Adaptation and Settlement a. Offering visit education for multi-cultural families (offering classes such as how to learn Korean and how to raise children) b. Operating a support program for multi-cultural families (Korean language education, family meetings, consultation, etc.) c. Language development and education projects for children in multi-cultural families d. The Korean language education for spouses of immigrants (operating Korean language/ culture classes and encouraging spouses of immigrants to take Korean Language Proficiency Test) 3. Creating Happy Environments to Live Together a. Inviting immigrant workers and multi-cultural families to Korean heritage and food culture programs and one-on-one or family programs to let them understand Korean society easily b. Service that send photo albums showing happy life in Korea back to mother countries c. Supporting spouses of immigrants who are in economic difficulties to visit their motherlands Policy Direction for the Multi-cultural Society Minority groups are often forced to assimilate into the main stream society. The society, unfortunately, is often indifferent to their cultural backgrounds and ignorant to possible cultural differences. Conflicts arising from this can make a significant impact on the society in general and racial conflicts are common in most countries. In this context, it is important that we make strong efforts to tolerate and accept diverse cultures different from us in preparation for a multi-cultural society. 1. Policies for Granting Civil Rights and Developing Citizenship and Need for Citizen Education Every human being is given the rights to possess and express cultural identities, to have equal and just social opportunities. In order to establish a multi-cultural society, citizen education is, therefore, essential. 2. Establishing a Cooperative Multi-Cultural Network Creating a political and institutional environment in which to reduce social conflicts and facilitate integration; creating a local community where citizens can participate in major policy making with government and business communities these are at the core of the cooperative multi-cultural network model. 3. Accepting the Social Diversity as the Basis for the Multi-cultural Society Under the assumption that everyone has to respect different values and cultural diversity in the multi-cultural society, we first have to recognize and accept the existing diversity in our society. Cultural habits and lifestyles of social minority groups based on income, social status, region, and disability have to be embraced and understood by everyone

8 Balance of Values Policies and Visions for a Multicultural Society Differences Equality Discrimination Assimilation Seongnam City, Republic of Korea 1 2 Policies Goals Contents The goals of policies are to ensure that the cultures, religions, and economic status of multicultural families living in Korean society are recognized, and that they exercise their own rights and priorities as Korean citizens History of Korea s Multicultural Society Government s Policies Seongnam City s Policies Proposals 3 4 History of Korea s Multicultural Society Lack of workforce Immigrant workers 1,230,000 Government s Policies Low birthrate Aging International marriages 50,000 Expanded immigration opportunities for overseas Koreans Contents Provide Convenient Living Conditions Provide Convenient Living Conditions High Quality Social Integration Prevent Discrimination Construct a New Governance Comprehensive Information Center Social Benefits Administrative Services Information Services Education Translation & Interpretation Living Subsidies Unemployment Insurance Unemployment Benefits Free Medical Services

9 High Quality Social Integration High Quality Social Integration Social Education to Teachers Government Officials Citizen Groups Exchanges Education with Multicultural Families and Native Citizens Youth Summer School CDs, Books and Leaflets about Korean Life New Employment Stimulus Subsidy Opportunities for Prestigious High School Promote married immigrants employment To be paid to companies that hire immigrants To aid multicultural children to join mainstream society 9 10 Prevent Discrimination Construct a New Governance To promote participation in Government Policies Social Issues Forums Discussions Hearings One-Stop Service to Prevent Foreigners Participation Violence Violation of Human Rights Hospitals Networks Police Shelters Stations Citizen Groups Educational Institutions NGOs, NPOs Corporations Central Government Convergence the opinions from Local Governments and Citizen Groups Administration for Integrated Policies Local Governments To Eliminate Social Conflicts To Enhance Social Integration Seongnam City Four Seasons of Seongnam City Seoul Seongnam Gyeonggi Province Seoul 15minutes from Seoul Seongnam Location Gyeonggi Province Population 970,000 Area Main Industry IT-SoC. Mobile Contents, etc Seongnam City 23,280 foreign residents 2.4% of Seongnam s population Ranked 6th in Korea for foreigner population The most populated city of multicultural children consists of 1,096 Famous for its convenient transportation network Foreign communities near subway stations Seongnam City s Policies

10 Contents Establish a Support System Establish a Support System Support Adaptation Civil Movement Toward Happiness Support center For multicultural families Administered with - Universities -Local Government -Citizens Groups Ordinance Legislated in 2007 Support center for foreign residents Free medical services Social benefits For employment Acknowledgement - License from homeland Immigrants can utilize -Expert knowledge -Experiences Support center For foreign residents Education - Korean Language - Cooking -Korean Culture Support Adaptation Support Adaptation Volunteer s Visit To help understand Korea Teach Korean To Educate Korean culture How to make Kimchi How to prepare holiday dinner tables Consult on domestic and cultural issues Support Adaptation Civil Movement Toward Happiness Problems Confusion due to dual citizenship Language development Education Seongnam, Full of Happy Citizens! Seongnam, Where Citizens Lead the City! Consulting Language Program Language diagnoses Language development Textbook Program Civil Movement Toward Happiness Civil Movement Toward Happiness Encouraging Social Exchange Between multicultural families and non-multicultural families To help the former settle into Korean society Send a Happy Album to Immigrant s Homeland To show immigrant women s Happy Life Events for Social Exchange Visiting historical sites Experiencing Korean culture where families from various countries share the same experiences. To help communication between married immigrant women and their homeland families

11 Civil Movement Toward Happiness Visiting Homeland Proposals Contents Citizenship Guarantee We need a policy that guarantees citizenship to immigrants and nurtures qualified citizens. Citizenship Guarantee New Governance Culture Integration Equal rights and duties to immigrants to help them settle into our multicultural society. The government should educate citizens to be qualified on how to co-exist and prepare institutional systems to prevent discrimination. These systems will change recognition, attitudes, and values toward different cultures and people New Governance Culture Integration Unifying all Parties Central Government We need a policy that embraces multicultural issues and integrates all cultures into society. Applying Comprehensive Systematic Policies Universities & Research Institutions Citizens Regional Communities Corporations Local Governments Citizens Groups Minority Groups When a society or a nation builds its policy, essentially, we must consider the greatest common agreement on laws, systems, and values. To embrace various cultures we must confront conflicting elements; one-way communication cannot solve heterogeneous natures and the cultural varieties. It is most important to embrace the multi-foreign cultures as they are and to prevent biases and discrimination against minorities, thus expanding their rights that the majority already enjoy Proposal Proposal In reality, immigrants are considered a cultural minority and passive group. To break these biases we must respect the fact that their cultures add cultural diversity to Korean society. The policies that support multicultural issues, and through it all, eventually, we can make a society where every member of the society is happy

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