Importance given to Cultural Diversity in Australia

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One of Australian sport's highest profile administrators will head the new Australian Multicultural Advisory Council, says Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou will chair the 16-member council which. It is hoped that this will bring new cultural diversity perspectives to the Australian Government.

'Australia continues to rely on immigration as one way to address current and future skill shortages,' Senator Evans said.

'The government considers Australia's approach to immigration and cultural diversity to be a national strength.

'Independent advice from a range of experienced and knowledgeable individuals is important in developing policies and programs that build on this strength.'

'The new council will advise the government on practical approaches to promoting social cohesion, the engagement of migrants in Australian society, overcoming racism and intolerance and communicating to the public on this complex social policy area.'

'Mr Demetriou brings substantial experience to the council, not only as a prominent sport personality, but also as the chief executive of the Australian Football League,' Mr Ferguson said.'

'Religious and cultural diversity is a permanent and valuable feature of Australian society. This council will reflect that diversity.'

The new council members are: Andrew Demetriou (chair), Susai Benjamin, Hass Dellal OAM, Joumanah El Matrah, Carmen Garcia, Sylwia Greda-Bogusz, Rhonda Jacobsen, Gail Ker, Voula Messimeri AM, Nola Randall-Mohk, Brian Schwartz AM, Rauf Soulio, Casta Tungaraza, Craig Waterhouse, Samina Yasmeen and Katie Young OAM.