ACT Multicultural Advisory Council

ACT Multicultural Council members
Multicultural Advisory Council to Advance Diversity in Canberra

Terms of Reference


  • To give members of Canberra’s culturally diverse communities opportunities to take a leading role in participation and consultation on issues that affect their lives.
  • To act as a conduit to the Minister on the views of members of culturally diverse communities.
  • To raise awareness of the aspirations, needs and concerns of culturally diverse communities, within government and the community.
  • To facilitate interaction between members of Canberra’s culturally diverse communities, the ACT Government and the wider community.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • To provide the Minister with direct and well informed advice on matters relating to culturally diverse communities.
  • To ensure culturally diverse communities’ experiences and circumstances are reflected in advice to government.
  • To consult widely with culturally diverse communities in the ACT.
  • To attend Council meetings, training and other relevant activities.
  • To ensure a continued consultative approach to the implementation of the ACT Multicultural Framework 2015-2020 by taking a leading role in monitoring the delivery of action items.
  • To assist in convening an ACT Multicultural Summit during the second year of the Council, working in collaboration with and advising the ACT Minister for Multicultural Affairs on agenda items, engagement of attendees, reporting of outcomes and exploration or implementation of resulting initiatives.


  • The proposed ACT Multicultural Advisory Council will comprise up to 15 individuals who either live, work or study in the ACT or who can demonstrate extensive experience in the community or business sector in this jurisdiction.
  • Membership of the Council will reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of people residing in the ACT, including a gender balance, youth and older persons and people with disability.
  • Council members will be appointed either as representative members of a peak/community organisation or as Individual community members. Representative members will have links to their respective peak/community organisation. The representative members and community members are not simply speaking on behalf of their particular organisation or community. All Council members are representing views of culturally diverse communities in the Territory – of which there are more than 100 – and will be expected to actively engage in representing the broader community.
  • Selections will be based on but not limited to the following criteria:
    • Commitment and willingness to participate fully in Council activities;
    • Ability to contribute to Council processes and consultation activities; and
    • Commitment to reflecting the diverse range of experiences and views of Canberra’s culturally diverse communities.

Term of Office

  • Appointments to the Council will be made for up to three years – the first year with a focus on strategy, the second on implementation and the third on review.
  • The Minister will seek Cabinet’s endorsement of the ACT Multicultural Advisory Council appointments.


  • Members are required to notify the Minister in writing of their intention to resign from the Council. Vacancies due to resignation may be filled by the Directorate from a short-list of people obtained from the selection process. The resigning member must address their resignation to the secretariat who will forward the resignation to the Minister’s Office.
  • Members who fail to attend three consecutive meetings without an apology are deemed to have resigned from the Council. Directorate staff will consistently liaise with members about their individual circumstances and reasons for non-attendance.
  • Members may seek and obtain a leave of absence from the council, with the approval of the Chair.

ACT Multicultural Advisory Council member’s appointment will be revoked if:

  • the member’s term of appointment has expired;
  • the member fails to attend three consecutive meetings without an apology;
  • the member resigns from the Council; or
  • the member’s appointment is terminated by the Minister for one of the following reasons:
  • the member is unable to meet performance standards outlined in the Code of conduct; or
  • or breach of the Code of Conduct (to be developed).

Office Holders

  • The Minister will appoint the Chair.


The Chair’s role is to:

  • act as public spokesperson for the Council;
  • facilitate all meetings of the Council;
  • assist members to work together as a group by facilitating discussion and drawing participation from all members;
  • maintain a positive and constructive atmosphere at Council meetings by encouraging courtesy, respect and openness; and
  • ensure all members have equal opportunity to contribute ideas, opinions and concerns.

Council Operation

  • The Council will hold regular meetings every eight weeks. Meeting times, dates and locations will be arranged by the secretariat.
  • Meetings shall be facilitated by the Chair.
  • The meeting agenda will be developed by the Secretariat, in consultation with the
    Chair. Items for the agenda will be sought from members of the Council. Minutes of Council meetings will be compiled by the secretariat.
  • Wherever possible, decisions by the Council will be by consensus.
  • The quorum for decision-making at Council meetings will be half of the current membership of the Council.
  • Sub-committees of the council can be formed to fulfil specific purposes. However, these sub-committees must have the Council endorse all of their major decisions and proposals.

ACT Multicultural Advisory Council Business

  • Consultation with culturally diverse communities as needed and requested, through appropriate engagement tools such as:
    • Face-to-face consultations;
    • Digital media;
    • Surveys; and
    • Informal consultation e.g. coffee and cake sessions.
  • Council members will facilitate an ACT Multicultural Summit.
  • Submissions and advice on matters involving culturally diverse communities across government and in the ACT community.
  • Council members may be asked to participate on other committees, working parties and taskforces.


  • The ACT Multicultural Advisory Council will advise the Minister for Multicultural Affairs through the following mechanisms:
    • meetings between the Minister and Chair at the request of either party;
    • reporting on ACT Multicultural Advisory Council and other events, including the Multicultural Summit;
    • reporting on the progress of actions under the ACT Multicultural Framework 2015-2020 by the Inter-Directorate Implementation Group with the Community Services Directorate being the lead Agency;
    • Council minutes and agenda;
    • attendance of the Minister at Council meetings; and
    • for any report, submission or comment provided by the Council, the Chair is to provide a copy in the first instance to the Secretariat who will then forward the information to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs seeking the Minister’s agreement for release.
    • Responding to requests from the Minister for input on specific or whole-of-government policy issues.

Reimbursement and Out of Pocket Expenses

  • Members will be remunerated for participation at Council meetings.
  • Remuneration will be agreed in advance of out of session forums and engagements.
  • Remuneration will be consistent with the ACT Remuneration Tribunal determination.
  • Approval for additional out of pocket expenses is required from the Directorate, with requests made prior to making a claim wherever possible. When acting as a representative of the Council, members must have received the endorsement of the Council to attend such events and act on their behalf prior to claiming expenses.


  • The role of the secretariat, provided by the Community Services Directorate, is to support and resource Council members to undertake their duties, including through initiatives such as the multicultural summit.
  • The secretariat will support the Chair and Council members by:
    • organising meetings (arranging venues, providing refreshments, notifying members);
    • formalising the agenda, in consultation with Council members;
    • collating and distributing written material as required prior to each Council meeting;
    • preparing correspondence on behalf of the Council;
    • preparing written material as required;
    • any other duties that are negotiated by the Chair with the secretariat, at the request of Council members; and
    • providing a copy of the agenda and minutes to the Minister’s Office.

Conflicts of Interest

  • The ACT Government Boards and Committees Handbook 2009, Chapter 3.3.3 outlines appropriate conduct in relation to conflict of interest and other issues. This document will be provided to all Council members. Each member will be required to sign the Conflict of Interest Declaration.