Greater Shepparton Candidate Seema Abdullah gives a statement on the meaning of multiculturalism and the services required.
Greater Shepparton Council Elections
All candidates were asked to respond to these questions.
- What does multiculturalism mean to Shepparton?
- What specific services should Council provide to support these communities?
Responses in ballot paper order are given herewith without comment.
What does multiculturalism mean to Shepparton?
Multiculturalism is an important part of Shepparton’s identity. The community is welcoming of migrant communities including those who come here on humanitarian grounds and skilled migrants. Multiculturalism and cultural harmony is celebrated in Shepparton through sports, food festivals and cultural events, etc. However, the integration process for new arrivals, especially those in low socio-economic groups, also has challenges due to barriers such as language, cultural differences, less understanding of new systems and local law, inequalities in education, employment, etc. Supporting multicultural communities for better social cohesion and diversity surely adds to the livability of our region.
What specific services should council provide to support these communities?
Council, through its service delivery and advocacy roles, can help address practical difficulties in the integration of multicultural communities in various areas e.g. social, education, wellbeing, etc. To support these communities it is important that Council’s policies, program and services (active living, mother and child health/ education, waste management education, to name a few) are accessible to them and these are inclusive and attentive to the diverse needs of multicultural communities. Council’s messages and information about various services need to reach out to these communities more effectively, in a language understood by them and through the channels used by them.
Source: Candidate’s statements supplied to Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District.