On Sunday 19 February 2017, the Victorian Government released its Multicultural Policy Statement and supporting campaign Victorian. And Proud of it. There is much in this campaign which supports social cohesion, multiculturalism and builds on the strengths of engagement with multifaith communities and their Interfaith Networks.
Robin Scott, Minister for Multicultural Affairs in Victoria told that our diversity is one of our strengths – but it doesn’t come without its challenges. Today some Victorians feel uncomfortable by the pace of our changing world. We would be deceiving ourselves if we did not accept that there are some problems out there in our society that need work.
The threat of terrorism, radical Muslim extremists, ethnic extremism, far-right extremism, far-left extremism – all of them look pretty much the same and none of them are compatible with our peaceful way of life. The vast majority of Victorians of all backgrounds and religious faiths reject extremism. While this fear is understandable, it is never excusable to promote divisions based on race or religion.
How we choose to respond to these challenges will define us as a state.
We cannot allow Victoria’s success to be undermined by fears built on misinformation and misunderstanding. Instead we must reaffirm our shared values and be unafraid to have difficult yet necessary conversations. So, we’ve launched Victorian. And proud of it.
Victoria’s new Multicultural Statement is about having a discussion about the sort of values that make up our society in Victoria. We have decided to assert them in an unmistakable way through the Victorian Values statement. It clearly sets out the core values that unify us as a peaceful and prosperous society with a shared sense of belonging, respect, acceptance and contribution.
Victorian Values Statement
Firstly, in Victoria, there is one law for all.
We all have the same rights under that law. We all have the same responsibilities and protections under that law. We are all equal under that law.
Secondly, discrimination is never acceptable.
Thirdly, everyone should have the freedom to be themselves. No woman should ever be abused for wearing a hijab. And no one should ever miss out on a job opportunity because of their name.
Fourthly, there must be a fair go for all. That’s not a cliché. That’s our basic contract. The system must give people the support they need to live a decent life.
Finally, it’s up to all of us to contribute to a Victoria we can be proud of.
They are the shared values that hold our society together and they’re not negotiable.
Victorian. And Proud of it – inter alia – will include the following initiatives:
- Connecting with, understanding and improving the safety and resilience of every community before, during and after emergencies – under the Emergency Management Diversity and Inclusion Framework.
- Establish seven new Regional Engagement and Community hubs in partnership with the Scanlon Foundation and key regional stakeholders. These hubs will build on the strategic regional partnership program, creating a platform for community-wide engagement and supporting more sustainable regional settlement.
- Develop the Victoria Police and Community Multicultural Advisory Committee to promote and maintain harmonious relations between police and multicultural communities, based on mutual understanding, respect and trust.
- Develop the Victoria Police Multi-Faith Council to strengthen the partnerships between Victoria Police, the Victorian Multicultural Commission, faith based organisations and multicultural agencies.
Download the Multicultural Statement Victorian. And proud of it