Greater Shepparton Candidate Rob Priestly 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 at the heart of Shepparton. As a business owner we have seen the rewards of staff from a wide range of communities. Shepparton does multiculturalism better than almost anywhere, but that does not mean there is no room for improvement.
Racism and misunderstanding can be regular occurrences and are sometimes barriers to work. We must make sure that the ladder of opportunity is accessible to all our residents. We are all poorer if the rich potential of our diverse population is wasted because of barriers to work, education or inclusion.
What specific services should council provide to support these communities?
Council can show the way on multicultural inclusion by ensuring its own employment practices are inclusive and accommodating. Council should ensure its services are accessible in popular community languages where possible. Council should view community cohesion as a responsibility and a goal and enact programs that foster cross cultural understanding such as festivals, sporting activities etc., but the biggest thing Council can do is engage and listen. Listen to what communities want, and the challenges they face.
Source: Candidate’s statements supplied to Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District.