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 www.harmonytasmania.com 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 email@example.com
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.
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 www.census.abs.gov.au 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:
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