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Members statement: Cultural diversity

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Samantha Ratnam
Leader of the Victorian Greens
22 March 2022

This week we mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and Cultural Diversity Week. It is an important opportunity to reflect on the progress that we have made but also the work left to do in eliminating racism and discrimination from our societies. To do this we must commit to an anti-racist Victoria and an anti-racist Australia, and this means committing to understanding the impacts of dispossession, colonisation and racism on First Nations people, migrants and all culturally diverse communities. It also means acknowledging that racism is still alive and present and is fuelled when we say nothing and do nothing. It means actively seeking out knowledge and growing our understanding of how racism and discrimination continue to be perpetuated either overtly or covertly, and it means seeking ways to change our attitudes and behaviours in ways that actively challenge racism and discrimination at every opportunity. We take on this challenge and celebrate the strength and resilience of our First Nations and culturally diverse communities, especially this week.

I want to thank a number of organisations doing brilliant work in our communities and who have coordinated a number of events recently. These include the Islamic Council of Victoria for their Open Mosque Day; the Kurdish Democratic Community Centre of Victoria for their Newroz celebration for Kurdish national day; the Australian-Iranian Society of Victoria for their Newroz celebration at Parliament, and we look forward to welcoming the Kurdish community for a celebration of Newroz again on Wednesday this week in Parliament; the Voice of Australians for the Pakistan Resolution Day event; and the Victorian Multicultural Commission for the annual dinner over the weekend that brought our communities together. I am looking forward to hosting a multicultural communities round table next week. I thank for the opportunity all those organisations— (Time expired)

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Samantha Ratnam
Leader of the Victorian Greens
22 March 2022
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