On 13 September 2017 ACT Minister for Multicultural Affairs Rachel Stephen-Smith announced the new Multicultural Advisory Council.
“The Council will provide a platform for Canberra’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities to have their issues heard and to work even more closely with the ACT Government,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.
“The establishment of the Multicultural Advisory Council was a commitment under the ACT Labor-Greens Parliamentary Agreement and will further strengthen Canberra’s reputation as a city in which culturally and linguistically diverse communities can flourish.”
Key areas of work for the incoming Council include supporting the implementation of the ACT Multicultural Framework 2015-2020 and planning for a Multicultural Summit in 2018.
The ACT Multicultural Framework 2015-2020 is built around themes that focus on the importance of supporting the ACT’s multicultural communities to ensure everyone can reach their full potential, and that the ACT embraces the benefits of our city’s diversity.
A total of 41 expressions of interest for the 15 positions on the Council were received. “I would like to thank everyone who put their hand up to represent the community on this important new body,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.
“It was an impressive field of candidates and I hope that all of those who expressed interest will continue to engage in the community consultations that will occur in the lead-up to the Multicultural Summit.
“Careful consideration was given when forming the Council to ensure that it reflects a diversity of cultural backgrounds, interests, age, genders and life experience.
“The 10 inaugural community Council members are Ms Sandra Esam Elhelw Wright, Ms Antonia Kaucz, Ms Uieta Kaufusi, Ms Sonia di Mezza, Mr Laksman Prasad, Mr Willie Senanayake, Miss Holy Vanderpol, Mr Victor Violante, Mrs Chin Wong and Mr Kirk Zwangobani.
“In addition, five multicultural organisations are represented by Mr Darryl Alexander (ACT Multicultural Council), Ms Dewani Bakkum (Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services), Ms Nunu Johnson (Multicultural Youth Services), Ms Diana Rahman (Canberra Multicultural Community Forum) and Mr Hong Sar Channaibanya (Companion House).”