On 29 November 2016, the Senate resolved that the Select Committee on Strengthening Multiculturalism be established on 27 March 2017. The committee is to inquire into and report on ways of protecting and strengthening Australia’s multiculturalism and social inclusion, with particular reference to:
- the views and experiences of people from culturally and linguistically diverse, and new and emerging communities;
- the adequacy and accessibility of settlement and social inclusion services and resources available to individuals and communities;
- the adequacy of existing data collection and social research on racially motivated crimes;
- the impact of discrimination, vilification and other forms of exclusion and bigotry on the basis of ‘race’, colour, national or ethnic origin, culture or religious belief;
- the impact of political leadership and media representation on the prevalence of vilification and other forms of exclusion and bigotry on the basis of ‘race’, colour, national or ethnic origin, culture or religious belief;
- how to improve the expected standards of public discourse about matters of ‘race’, colour, national or ethnic origin, culture or religious belief;
- how to better recognise and value the contribution that diverse communities bring to Australian social and community life;
- the potential benefits and disadvantages of enshrining principles of multiculturalism in legislation;
- the potential benefits and disadvantages of establishing a legislative basis for the Multicultural Advisory Council, or for an ongoing Multicultural Commission; and
- any related matters.
The committee has received a number of short statements, generally expressing support for multiculturalism. These have been submitted through an organised campaign. As is normal practice for Senate committees, the committee will publish one example of these statements, but the remainder will be treated as correspondence and not published.
The closing date for submissions is 12 May 2017.
The committee is due to report on or by 14 August 2017.