Multicultural Council of Tasmania News February 2016
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Chinese New Year, 8 February 2016

Multicultural News

The Australia I am proud of

Speech by Alphonse Mulumba, Multicultural Council Chairperson & Australia Day Ambassador, given at a Devonport Citizenship Ceremony

Australia today enjoys the fruit of almost 150 years of consistent and progressive democracy, where all liberties are respected and cherished; and where everyone is given the chance to become the best they can be, to maximise their potential and to reach their destinies.

Personally I think that’s the true genius of Australia. That is the backbone; that’s the DNA of the Australian story.

And Australia day of course, gives us the chance to reflect and to think on what makes us unique as a country, as a nation and also as a people.

Today, as millions of people around the country, around this State of Tasmania and right here in Devonport reflect on what it means to be Australian, I remember that just 7 years ago my family and I came to this great place, to this state of Tasmania. With almost no words of English in our mouths, we wondered if we would really fit, if we would really integrate, and be fully part of this Australian culture. It was a big challenge because in some other places like where I was born in the [Democratic Republic of] Congo, it is almost impossible for a shattered life by the vicissitudes of war to be reborn, it is almost impossible for a dead dream to resurrect [again]; it is almost impossible for a broken life to be restored and for someone who once lived in despair to be given the chance to feel human again.

So, along that journey, after a long process of personal thinking and reflection on whether I really wanted to be part of Australia (as some have done today and congratulations to you); I realised that [yes] now [I can] be part of the future and of the fabrics of this country. [And] I should be bold and honest to you enough to say that today as I am standing, my decision to have accepted the Australian citizenship 3 years ago remains untarnished by any regrets. I am proud to have made that decision.
Full speech can be found here >>

Week of Harmony

by Karen Robson, Multicultural Council Events Coordinator

'Diversity is our strength' is the theme for national Harmony Day celebrated on 21 March. This year, the Council welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with the Tasmanian Government to coordinate state-wide Harmony Week celebrations.
Harmony Week activities and events will be taking place in Tasmania from 14-21 March.  Councils, schools, workplaces and community groups are already busy planning for this year’s activities. There is no shortage of goodwill towards sharing the message that everyone belongs.
The great charm of Harmony Week is the ability to take a small step or action towards sharing your differences with the greater community and creating a sense of belonging for everyone who calls Tasmania home.
If you are in a workplace, you can register to participate in A Taste of Harmony
, a national project that celebrates diversity in workplaces by encouraging staff to share food and stories from their different cultural backgrounds.
Schools can take simple steps by creating classroom discussions around cultural traditions and community celebrations. Guest speakers and the celebration of music can also enliven classroom discussion.
As the day approaches we will be launching a website for the registration of events and sharing of resources.
If you are interested in learning how to get involved in a community event in your area, or would like to share an idea or activity with the office please email
We look forward to working with you in sharing your stories and learning more about how our differences can make us stronger this Harmony Week.

Census 2016
by Jess Neilson, Assistant  Manager, Tasmanian Census RMU

The Census of Population and Housing is conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) every five years. The next Census is on Tuesday August 9 this year.
The Census gives a snapshot of the people in Australia and the houses in which they live. It helps us to understand how Australia is changing, and allows us to plan services for the future.
Everyone in Australia on Census night must complete the Census even if they are not an Australian citizen or resident. This includes International students, overseas visitors and temporary residents. The Census asks for information about ancestry, country of birth, religion, and primary language spoken at home. This helps us to understand  Australia’s cultural diversity. Census data is important for funding and supporting the migrant community in Tasmania.
Information provided on the Census forms will be kept confidential. No-one outside of the ABS will ever know the answers. This means Centrelink, Housing, Community Services, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the Tax Office or any other agency.
Completing the 2016 Census
In 2016 you can complete the Census form online using your computer, smart phone or tablet. You can also fill out a paper form.
The 2016 Census will count close to 10 million houses and 24 million people in Australia on Census night.  65 per cent of Australian households are expected to complete the Census online.
The ABS will provide extra help to non-English speaking households to complete the Census. This includes:

  • Providing assistance to non-English speaking households via telephone
  • Running fill in form sessions where you can receive help to complete your Census from bilingual Census staff.  

Census Job Opportunities
Applications for Area Supervisors have now opened – please go to for more information. Information on other job opportunities, such as field officer roles and bilingual officer roles, will be available in May. We will send you more information in a later newsletter.
If you have any questions please contact:
Jess Neilson
Assistant  Manager – Targeted Strategies
Tasmanian Census RMU
(03) 6222 5792

City of Launceston stands against racism

City of Launceston embraces "RACISM. IT STOPS WITH ME" campaign to:

  • Ensure more Australians recognise that racism is unacceptable in our community
  • Give more Australians the tools & resources to take practical action against racism
  • Empower individuals & organisations to prevent & respond effectively to racism

From 7 to 14 December 2015 over 100 portraits of local people holding the framed message: Racism, it stops with me! were displayed on the large windows of the LINC building in Civic Square. It was the Launceston Safer Communities Partnership initiative, (the City of Launceston external safety committee) supported by Launceston LINC and the Youth Advisory Group.
The display which coincided with Human Rights Week, was based on the 75 photos taken earlier that year at the Community Festival for Peace, Harvest Market, in Launceston. Simultaneous activity in Civic Square over Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 December ensured 82 more photos were taken and added to the display.
It was fantastic to see the interest raised through this initiative and the number of people supporting the message!
Read more in 
The Examiner

Multicultural Council would like to congratulate Chinese, Korean, Mongolian. Tibetan, Nepali and Vietnamese communities with Lunar New Year. We are wishing everyone all the best for the coming adventures in the World of diversity & multicultural friendships!

Hobart based Lunar New Year celebrations can be found here
Chinese Community Association Tasmania presents Chinese New Year of the Monkey
10 am - 4 pm Sunday 7 February | Parliament House Lawns, Hobart
Traditional performances | Free

by 15 top young contemporary Chinese artists
5:30 pm Wednesday 17 Feb
Exhibition dates: 18 - 24 February | 11 am - 5 pm daily
 | Long Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre

Free family film event
7 pm Saturday 20 February | St Marys Recreation Ground, St Marys

More Info


Lunar New Year 2016 Lantern Festival (YuanXiao festival)
Over 1000 lanterns will be exhibited during this free, family friendly event. The event program includes lion dancing, Chinese traditional dance, a Chinese costume show and much more
12 – 4 pm Sunday 21 February
 | Wrest Point Casino
Celebrate all things Greek: delicious Mediterranean food, Greek music and dancing, arts and craft stalls, Karate displays and plenty of entertainment for the kids
11 am – 5 pm Sunday 6 March | Greek Hellenic Hall, Federal St, Hobart | Free

Greek food, dancing and entertainment
Saturday 19 March | Hellenic Hall, Federal St, Hobart | More info 03 62310822 c/ Jim or Doxia

A multicultural Soccer Competition & Soccer Youth Festival
3:30 pm Sunday 27 March | KGV Glenorchy

  • The City of Hobart is seeking interested people to become a part of Hobart Networking for Harmony Multicultural Advisory Group.
    Potential members will participate in discussions around multicultural issues and develop recommendations for consideration by the Council. For more information please contact Sjaan Field, Community Development Officer Multicultural on 6238 2151 or

  • Congratulations to the Tasmanian Students Against Racism, winner of the 2015 Human Rights award. Tasmanian Students Against Racism started as a grassroots group with three students in 2008. It has since grown into an education and advocacy group involving more than 250 young presenters and has reached 10,000 participants.

  • Swanston Street Children's Centre - Space for hire
    $20/hour | more information or call Brenda 0419441085

  • Official media launch for the 2016 Lunar New Year Festival was held on 22 January at Wrest Point Hotel. The photographs & impressions can be found here
  • Tamar valley writers’ festival - March 18th - 20th. The Festival's short story competition celebrates creative writing across all age groups. The three categories for entrants are adult, young writers eighteen and under and Tasmanian primary school students. In addition, awards will be given for the best Indigenous entry and the best multicultural entry. Entry to all literary sessions is free of charge. For more information and entry forms visit
  • The Moonah Taste of the World Festival – 20th March – is a unique, annual multicultural event celebrating the rich cultural diversity. Festival features include fantastic culinary delights from around the world; a brilliant diversity of world music and dance and a global showcase of arts and culture. The expressions of interest are open now for groups or individuals who would like to provide a cultural or family activity. For more information visit
  • Australia@2015 survey - The Scanlon Foundation is currently asking people to complete their Australia@2015 survey. This is a first in Australian public opinion surveys, being available not only in English but also 19 community languages. The survey seeks the views on diverse Australia issues such as identity, life satisfaction, trust in fellow Australians and our institutions, the media and cultural diversity. The information provided by survey participants will provide knowledge for policy makers, opinion leaders, researchers, communities and wider Australian society. You can access the survey here
  • Tasmanian Multicultural Grants! - the state government’s Multicultural Grants Program, which was announced as part of the new Population Strategy has opened for applications. Program guidelines and application forms are available here
  • Australian Red Cross is hosting 2016 National Practitioner’s Forum in Victoria. The forum focuses on advancing Social Cohesion: cultural, linguistic and religious diversity in Australian communities. The aim is to give participants an opportunity to examine their own practice and learn from others. For more information visit

    National Days:
  • 4 February | Independence Day in Sri Lanka
  • 5 February Constitution Day in Mexico
  • 6 February International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
  • 6 February Waitangi Day in New Zealand
  • 7 February Independence Day in Grenada
  • 8 February Chinese New Year
  • 11 February National Foundation Day in Japan
  • 11 February National Day in Iran
  • 15 February National Day in Serbia
  • 15 February Nirvana Day (Buddhist)
  • 16 February Independence Day in Lithuania
  • 17 February Independence Day in Kosovo
  • 18 February National Day in Gambia
  • 20 February World Day of Social Justice
  • 21 February International Mother Language Day
  • 23 February National Day in Brunei Darussalam
  • 24 February Independence Day in Estonia
  • 25 February National Day in Kuwait
Burnie Multicultural Christmas Party
organised by Mariposa Dancers, MCOT Member
If you are interested in supporting MCOT please go to our website

We welcome your contributions to this monthly newsletter. The deadline for our March edition is 23 February. Please email your news or events to Gabriele on

Contact Details:
GPO Box 798, Hobart 7001
Office Hours:
Tue-Fri, 9 am - 2 pm