The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) stands strongly with its member organisations across Australia against the narrative purported by Reclaim Australia that calls on the Federal Government to ensure the “Australian way of life” is maintained. In response to the Reclaim Australia Rallies which took place on 4 April Australia-wide, FECCA emphasises the value of Australia’s rich cultural diversity.
Joe Caputo, FECCA Chair, said that he found the presence of these rallies across the country deeply disconcerting as they pose a risk to social cohesion and harmony. In recent months there has been a rise in racially and religiously motivated attacks against members of Australia’s multicultural communities.
There have been positive examples of Australians working to restore the relationship with migrant and refugee communities such as the “I’ll ride with you” campaign. Despite contributing to the development of Australian society, many culturally and linguistically diverse Australians still feel as though they don’t belong.
At FECCA, we are concerned over the increasingly hostile attitudes towards Muslim Australians and other minority groups. “Whilst we respect the right of every Australian to demonstrate their views peacefully, the rhetoric being expressed towards people from culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse backgrounds should concern the wider Australian community”, said Mr Caputo.
A defining quality of our country is that Australia has a long history of migration. Since the post-war era, Australia has evolved into a culturally and linguistically diverse society. Migrants have contributed to the social, cultural and economic fabric of Australia, with the country greatly benefiting from this unique composition. Diversifying society ensures people gain different cultural experiences and outlooks.
FECCA highlights the many positive attributes of multiculturalism. It is about the recognition, acceptance and celebration of our cultural, linguistic and faith based diversity, as well as our shared commitment to Australian laws and democratic values.
“The message these rallies perpetuate is that Australia is not a welcoming, inclusive place for people of multicultural and multi-faith backgrounds. It is important that the wider Australian society comes together to promote harmony and acceptance,” stated Mr Caputo.
During this time of increased community angst, FECCA would like to reiterate the necessity to reach out to the multicultural community and foster a cohesive, accepting and unified Australia.
Media Comments: Mr Joe Caputo OAM, Chair FECCA – 0419 173 122, or the FECCA Office – (02) 6282 5755