Friday 11 November 2011

Race Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Helen Szoke is calling for tolerance and diversity as she prepares to lead the first public consultation of the National Anti-Racism Partnership Strategy.

The Australian Human Rights Commission and FECCA will co-host this forum on the 16th of November in Adelaide at The Adelaide Pavilion Conference and Function Rooms.

Dr Szoke says the forum provides an important opportunity for all people from different ethnic backgrounds to strongly support the policy of multiculturalism in this country.

“Implicit in this, is a recognition that multiculturalism benefits all – that an investment in settlement services and cultural diversity is an investment in social cohesion” says Dr Szoke. As part of the federal government’s new multicultural policy, the National Anti-Racism Partnership will bring together key government agencies and non-governmental organisations to discuss how to confront racist attitudes in Australia.

“It is astonishing, of course, that race should remain such a hot button issue in a society that has so long considered itself multicultural” says Dr Szoke.

The Consultative Forum will begin with a panel discussion led by representatives of the
National Anti-Racism Partnership outlining the key aims of the strategy.

Panel speakers at the forum will be Dr Szoke, Pino Migliorino the Chair of FECCA, Brian Butler the Director of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples Ltd, Garry Fleming from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship as well as Gail Kerr, Deputy Chair of the Australian Multicultural Commission.

Anne Burgess, the Acting South Australian Commissioner for Equal Opportunity will chair the discussion.

Strategies and ideas heard at the forum will be collated for consideration by the Partnership members as they design the National Anti-Racism Strategy.

This forum will form part of the FECCA Conference 2011 – Advancing Multiculturalism preconference proceedings at which Dr Helen Szoke will be keynote speaker on 18th November at 1:30pm at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Media contact: Neena Mairata (02) 9284 9862 or 0417 957 525.