House of Assembly: Thursday, March 09, 2023


Ministerial Statement

Multicultural Charter

The Hon. Z.L. BETTISON (Ramsay—Minister for Tourism, Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (14:00): I seek leave to make a ministerial statement.

Leave granted.

The Hon. Z.L. BETTISON: It was a great honour today for the Premier and I to launch the South Australian Multicultural Charter, and to table this important document both here and in the other place.

The South Australian Multicultural Act 2021 was enacted on 2 December 2021. The centrepiece of this legislation is the South Australian Multicultural Charter which contains guiding principles that will help guide the future of multicultural policy in our state. The charter also includes provisions recognising Aboriginal peoples and their role in the diversity of South Australia.

An extensive consultation process was undertaken as part of the formation of the Multicultural Charter, including multicultural community organisations, South Australian government agencies, local government, universities, businesses and industry bodies. The charter recognises both the achievements and challenges of the generations that came before us and who, with new and emerging communities, continue to shape our state's identity. It acknowledges that our cultural diversity is a strength.

The six principles within the charter speak to equal access to opportunities, services and the ability to thrive. They speak to having the right to freedom from discrimination into a dialogue that encourages a free and respectful exchange of knowledge and an understanding of cultural, linguistic, racial and religious diversity.

South Australian government agencies are required to have regard to and seek to give effect to the charter in carrying out their functions and exercising their powers. It is anticipated that the charter's principles will provide guidance for agencies in the design and delivery of culturally and linguistically appropriate services. Practically, the Multicultural Charter will also help organisations promote understanding and respect through increased cultural awareness, and support the implementation of diversity and inclusion strategies.

The next stage of activating the Multicultural Charter is the development of the South Australian Ambassador Program, which will engage businesses and government agencies to actively consider the charter's principles. A pilot program for the Ambassador Program will be launched in the coming months, and I look forward to updating the house regarding its progress.

I acknowledge and thank the many members of the Charter Working Group who have contributed to the development of the charter. I would like to thank all members of the South Australian parliament for the bipartisan support of this project which has progressed during both the former and current governments. The Multicultural Charter is for all South Australians, and I look forward to working with you all to promote and support the charter principles in everything we do.