Canberra officially becomes a Welcoming City

Released 21/03/2019 - Joint media release

Canberra has joined the Welcoming Cities network on Harmony Day 2019 ahead of events to highlight and recognise our city’s strong social inclusion.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the ACT’s membership of the Network demonstrated the Territory’s national leadership role in supporting diversity and ensuring all members of our community feel included, welcomed and having a sense of belonging.

“I’m proud that our city is a place where everyone can feel welcome. It is up to all of us to ensure Canberra continues to be a welcoming and supportive place, including migrant and multicultural communities.”

“Welcoming Cities is a growing network of 135 cities, shires, towns and municipalities around the world and reconfirms our commitment to including all Canberrans in social, cultural, economic and civic life.

“The ACT Government has a long-standing commitment to welcoming and supporting new migrants and people seeking asylum and humanitarian assistance as they make Canberra their home.”

Minister for Multicultural Affairs Chris Steel said while Canberra becoming a Welcoming City is appropriately announced on Harmony day, the move has taken on a new significance following the terrorist attacks in Christchurch last Friday.

“Inclusion is a choice, and by becoming a Welcoming City, we are making a strong statement that we choose to welcome migrant and multicultural communities in Canberra.

“This step will enable us to benchmark ourselves against Standards for welcoming cities and identify practical actions to improve inclusion in our city.

“We will work with other cities, towns and communities all around Australia who are grappling with the complexities of building cohesion, learn from each other and share best practice.”

Tomorrow the ACT Government is hosting the ‘Importance of Belonging’ public forum in partnership with the South Sudanese community to highlight the local contributions and promote our understanding of the unique cultures represented in Canberra.

More than 26 per cent of Canberrans were born overseas and one in four people speak a language other than English, with the most common languages spoken being Mandarin, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Hindi.

Find out more on Welcoming Cities at:

- Statement ends -

Section: Andrew Barr, MLA | Chris Steel, MLA | Media Releases

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