On Thursday May 2, 2013, leading community services provider Australian Multicultural Community Services Inc. convened the Multicultural Conference – Strengthening Diversity.

180 delegates and leaders from across Australia came together to explore key issues around multiculturalism.

The conference brought together ethno-specific and multicultural organisations, service providers, policy makers, researchers, community organisation leaders, students, academics, government personnel and other stakeholders.

The conference aim was to inform and inspire multicultural theory, research, and practice.

It featured a mix of diverse presenters from academia, government and the community sector who shared their expertise and insights, and presented positive strategies and practices in providing effective and responsive services, in a multicultural society.

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Emceed by Magda Szubanski and opened by the Honorable Nicholas Kotsiras, Minister for Multicultural Affairs & Citizenship. The speakers examined the complex issues around how multiculturalism can be misunderstood, how service providers need to prepare to work in a more competitive environment and government commitments relating to ethnic communities in Australia.

The conference also highlighted the challenges to multiculturalism in the future, particularly around the generation and exploitation of negative public perceptions around multiculturalism, the sustainability and capacity of government and non-government agencies to deliver multicultural services and programs, and the difficulty of partnership development in a rapidly competitive service delivery landscape.

Jan Pakulski

An engaging key note address on Multiculturalism Misunderstood was presented by Professor Jan Pakulski, University of Tasmania.

 

A lively round table discussion on Visions for Delivering Diversity in the 21st Century offered delegates an opportunity to explore key issues, in their own contexts and share solutions and strategies to common challenges function in a multicultural society.

Elizabeth Drozd, Chief Executive Officer, AMCS said “Together we have the potential to build exciting and collaborative knowledge exchange and develop a sustainable support system and services for our culturally and religiously diverse communities.  AMCS hope to continue this important discussion through a presenting a series of conferences, in the future.”