Inner West Council to update multicultural policy

Council has voted to develop a new overarching multicultural policy, which will investigate ways of supporting and celebrating the Inner West’s cultural diversity.

The policy will examine ways to give ethnic communities a strong and official role in decision making in Council.

“The Inner West is the birthplace of multiculturalism in Australia,” said Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne.

“We must make sure that Council does everything it can to celebrate our unique and diverse community, and to find new ways we can build on this commitment,” he said.

Mayor Byrne said there are a range of initiatives Council will be looking at to strengthen its bonds with the Inner West’s multicultural communities.

“There is a real danger that the strong relationship between ethnic communities and the three former councils could be weakened as a result of the amalgamation,” he said.

“This policy is to ensure the voices of people from non-English speaking backgrounds are heard in Council’s decision-making spaces.”

Councillor Sam Iskandar, who moved the motion, said the Inner West is a better and richer place because it boasts so many different cultures.

“The Inner West values its local identity and remains very proud of its diversity. We want to continue to celebrate this unique community of people,” said Cr Iskandar.

Some of the multicultural initiatives include:

  • Exploring ways of delivering the largest Lunar festival in the history of the Inner West to celebrate our Chinese and East Asian communities.
  • Establishing an Inner West Anti-Racism Film Festival with entries to come from local residents, community groups and schools.
  • Creating a Multicultural Advisory Committee and Inter-Faith Reference Group to inform Council decision-making.
  • Setting up Civic Receptions to celebrate the national days of local ethnic communities including the Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek, Portuguese, Italian and Lebanese communities.
  • Ensuring Council information is available and easily accessible in community languages.
  • Appointing a dedicated multicultural development officer to support local organisations.

For further information, contact John Roper on (02) 9392 5914

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Page last updated: 16 Nov 2018