Saturday, April 20, 2024

Mount Isa hosts multicultural advisory council meeting

The Multicultural Queensland Advisory Council is holding a two-day meeting in Mount Isa today and tomorrow focusing on barriers facing people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds living in regional Queensland.

Council members will hold discussions with First Nations representatives, Mount Isa City Council and community organisations to hear first-hand the opportunities and challenges facing people from diverse backgrounds in regional Queensland.

“The Multicultural Queensland Advisory Council provides advice to me on opportunities and barriers facing people from CALD backgrounds and I am proud of the work it is doing to foster inclusive and harmonious communities,” said Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Leanne Linard (pictured).

“With more than half of Queensland’s population living outside of Greater Brisbane, its essential that the MQAC engages with those living in regional, rural and remote parts of our state to ensure they are being supported to contribute, thrive, and belong just as much as those living in Brisbane.

“We are here in Mount Isa to hear first-hand from local leaders and community members.

“This is a great opportunity for us to discuss what we can all do to ensure everyone is supported to forge new connections and contribute meaningfully to their communities.”

The Council and community leaders will also discuss the crucial work being done to foster inclusion and ensure people from diverse backgrounds are supported to connect, contribute and belong, the Minister said.

The Advisory Council advises the Minister on issues impacting people from diverse backgrounds and promotes the Multicultural Queensland Charter to support a unified and harmonious community.

This Council is the third to be appointed under the Multicultural Recognition Act 2016 and includes regional members from Cairns and Bedourie.

“Mount Isa is a wonderfully diverse community – more than 16% of the local population were born overseas, and more than 10% speak a language other than English at home,” said Ms Linard.

“With such a culturally diverse population, it’s crucial that we continue to ensure barriers to social and economic participation for people from CALD backgrounds are identified and addressed.

“When migrants and refugees are given the best chance to settle into a community, not only do they thrive, but they help our economy and community to prosper and grow.

“The Palaszczuk Government deeply values the advice this Council provides. The members bring diverse cultural experiences to the table and are each committed to ensuring Queensland is inclusive and responsive to the needs of our increasingly diverse communities.”

MQAC member, Ameya Bhagwant Deshmukh said that as a migrant who now calls Australia home, it was a great honour to have the opportunity to meet with First Nations elders in Mount Isa.

“My personal journey has involved coming to Queensland from India in 2018 as an international student, and now living and working in Bedourie which although a very welcoming and inclusive community has given me a deep understanding of the challenges faced by migrants and their journey to acculturate in an English-speaking country,” he said.

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