Strengthening multiculturalism in the Inner West


Thursday, 22 November 2018

Inner West Council will employ Multicultural Officer and develop a multicultural small grants program to help the community to celebrate its culture, as part of its new Multicultural Policy that will support the diverse communities in the inner west.

The new policy includes the establishment of a new multicultural advisory committee to give ethnic communities a renewed and powerful voice at Inner West Council, and developing a framework to support community to community relationships.

Councillor Sam Iskandar 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,” he said.

“We want to continue to celebrate this unique community of people,” said Councillor Iskandar.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said that the new policy celebrated the Inner West’s place as the birthplace of multiculturalism in Australia.

“The Inner West is an amazing place. The microcosm that we have built here is an example to the world that people from every continent on earth can live in mutual respect,” he said.

“However, 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.

“We need to make sure the voices of people from non-English speaking backgrounds are heard in Council’s decision-making spaces,” said Mayor Byrne.

Some elements of the multicultural policy include:

  • Appointing a dedicated multicultural liaison officer that will give local organisations a renewed and powerful voice at Council
  • Creating a Multicultural Advisory Committee, which will meet on 29 November
  • Establishing an 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

More than one third of the people living in the inner west are from multicultural backgrounds, 66,228 people were born overseas, and 51,597 speak a language other than English at home.

For further information please contact John Roper at

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Page last updated: 22 Nov 2018