Discuss about the Australian Government Multicultural Policy.
Multiculturalism, ethnic diversity and cultural tolerance have always been the policy of the Australian government. Multiculturalism means tolerance towards every culture (Castles, Hugo & Vasta, 2013). Post Second World War in the year 1973 Australia abolished the “White Australia” policy and incorporated migration on the expectation that migrants would shed their language and culture to become equal of the host population (Joseph, 2017). Australian government also segregated expanse to assist the migrants for their welfare and development (Ng & Metz, 2015). The Australian Parliament stood by racial tolerance saying “equal rights to all Australian’s irrespective of their race, origin, creed or color”. The government had incorporated the term Multiculturalism in the same year that allowed migrants to form national association to promote their culture and heritage and for the survival of their language (Collins, 2013).
Multicultural Policy of Australia
Australia considers its multicultural diversification to be the national identity and a prominent landmark in Australian history and character. Multicultural diversification in Australia is in the favor of national interest of the country as well as culminating linguistic, cultural and religious diversity within the country (Keddie, 2014). Multicultural policy of Australia had given privilege to the people residing in Australia to share and practice their culture and tradition within the country (Joseph, 2017). Today, one among four Australian is born overseas which comprises of the nation’s total population of 22 million people. According to a report, 44 percent of the Australian population was born overseas or have parents who were (Ng & Metz, 2015). It also states that around 4 million Australian people speak language different than English. Australia’s multicultural advisory council is endorsing multiculturalism within Australia (Ho, 2013). According to them embracing multiculturalism will benefit and strengthen the community and will bring values and tradition in the society. It aims to formulate an environment that provides equitable service to the Australians. Australian character towards multi diverse community has given the country a competitive edge in the globalised environment (Ozdowski, 2013).
Principles of Australian Multicultural Policy
Principle 1: Australia’s diverse culture propagates its policy as “everyone belongs”. Australia recognizes and celebrates the diversity within the national legal framework. It aims at unity, harmony and maintaining democratic values (Keddie, 2014). The contrast of this principle is in the facts that, apart from being a diverse country with a wide range of people who belong form different ethnic background, the only language, which is taught in the schools and is encouraged by the government is English.
Principle 2: Australian government has taken an oath to provide socially cohesive society, meaning everyone would be eligible to benefit from the resource and opportunity provided by the country (Modood, 2013). Citizen of Australian from diverse background is entitled to access to government service. It will make the Australian citizen understand their value in the country, so that they will participate wholeheartedly for the betterment of the society (Pietsch, 2013).
In Australia is a growing issue within the country of the people who are immigrants and are looking for places to stay. A feeling o uncertainty and even aggression is observed towards certain kinds of immigrants is growing and becoming a common phenomenon. There is a contrast in the outlook of people regarding immigration policies. Australia have been perceived as tolerant society and its recent policies on compulsory custody for refuge seekers gives rise to a contradictory situation that mirrors a sense of lack of confidence that seems to be implanted in the people of Australia.
Principle 3: Immigrants in Australia are skilled and can provide well for the labor-based industry. Economic renewal and prosperity brought by these immigrants in the community have opened the door of Australia to the world. The diversity of the nation has given Australia the competitive edge it needs in the global market (Ng & Metz, 2015). There are several cases of illegal immigration and refugee issues, which are arising on a daily basis and there are hardly any policies to combat the situation or to elevate the situation of such immigration in the country.
Principle 4: Australian government is willing to provide protection against social discrimination and is intolerant towards racism. Racism and social discrimination affect lives of people, both well being and health of the people (Pietsch, 2013). It also denies opportunity to access services and benefits provided by the government. Thus, Australian government stand against discrimination, racism, prejudice and intolerance have given them the edge in the global market (Ozdowski, 2013).
Acceptance of Aborigines has been one of the greatest setbacks of Australia’s multiculturalism. Aborigines are of the view that their rights and position being singularly different. The government has not solved this problem regarding the acceptance of Aborigines yet.
Responsibility and Right
Australia’s multicultural society and democracy is built on the fundamental right and responsibility of people residing in Australia. Upholding democracy and law and respecting the liberties and rights of the nation is the key towards building a stronger nation (Modood, 2013). The rights enable the citizens of Australia to practice, celebrate and maintain their cultural tradition, language and heritage within law and free of any kind of discrimination (Ho, 2013).
Future of Multicultural in Australia
Australia as a nation will keep on evolving and will keep on diversifying its population. They will hold their ground of being multicultural to create equal opportunities for a stronger economy, prosperity and brighter future for Australia. Thus, it will bring the benefit of cultural and social diversity in the nation (Keddie, 2014).
Australian Multicultural Council (AMC)
The government has established an independent body to advice and consults on policies regulated by government bodies on the topic of Multiculturalism (Ozdowski, 2013). AMC will have boarder reference in the Australia society, which are:
- It will act as an independent body in the multicultural country.
- It will formulate strong strategy regarding access and equity.
- It will research and advise the government on multicultural policy.
- It will conduct celebration on cultural diversification and organize activities on harmony day.
AMC will keep on advising government on multicultural affaires. Government will appoint independent selection process for, free and fair selection. It will provide non-partisan and independent framework (Jakubowicz & Ho, 2014).
Australia’s strict policy on discrimination and racism is to develop, design and implement new strategy (Ozdowski, 2013). It will give effort on five key areas such as:
- Consultation and Research
- Public Awareness
- Youth Engagement
- Ongoing Evaluation
It will help fragment other human rights programs and strength the bond between its citizens by formulating new strategies that will help builds on the resources available to them (Ho, 2013).
Multicultural Sport Partnership Program
Sports and recreational activities have always helped building communal and social cohesion (Baker & Rowe, 2014). The Australian government has established Multicultural Youth Sports Partnership Program, which enables to create connection and help involve youth to form relationship with emerging communities and linguistically and culturally diverse background (Castles, Hugo & Vasta, 2013).
Cynic Aspect of the Situation
Multiculturalism been incorporated in the Australian governance for more than 40 years now, but it is still remains as a matter of conflict among the common population of Australia (Castles, Hugo & Vasta, 2013). However, multiculturalism has found resentment in the heart of the country since the Cronulla riot of 2005, where natives in the name of aggressive nationalism challenged multiculturalism (Collins, 2013). Though Australian society stands for multiculturalism, it never officially acknowledges the festivals or carnivals of other community (Metz et al. 2016). Similarly, the languages and cloths that are used by the diverse population of the country do not get any promotion form behalf of the Australian government (Pietsch, 2013). Some critics believe that the security of the nation will be at risk due to the promotion of multiculturalism, as it enclaves the society this will result into internal clash within the society (Joseph, 2017). The authenticity and the existence of their own culture will be at risk as well with the increase in immigration and refugees from outside the boarders (Blair, 2015). Due to this, there has been a subsequent fall of immigrants in the recent past. The host nation is quite expensive for the taste of immigrants, who find it hard to settle in Australia (Collins, 2013). Australia’s other policies restricts the resident of the nation to chaperon parents from another country and making them natives.
Though there are strict policies against racism in Australia, the diverse subcultures of the region always find it difficult to co-exist with each other resulting in an outburst (Modood, 2013). Recently there have been several incidents regarding racial discrimination and unrest among the Australian population. For example, there has been an increased incident against the Islamic community (Ho, 2013).
Australia welcomes people from all caste, creed, color and race to participate in the wellbeing and development of the country. The government of Australia organizes a lot of programs and services to empower people coming from different cultural and ethnic background. Australia regulates strong policies to discourage discrimination and racism. Australia’s motto of collectivism has given them the edge of competency in the market of globalization. Australia’s favors of diver society have given them skilled labors that have helped the nation to have economical growth, prosperity in the community. It brings energy, enterprise and ingenuity in the society. Diverse culture and multilingual workforce have given Australia the competitive edge in the globalised world. It is also important to understand that the multiculturalism policy as incorporated by the Australian government without consulting and support of the public, is taking a toll now as people is now being repulsive about the entire thing. People believe that diversity in the nation is a deleterious effect of multiculturalism and adding to that is perpetuated growth, because waves of immigrants flocked into the nation.
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