Tuesday, February 12, 2008

PM Kevin Rudd's Australia 2020 Summit

This just in from the PM's Office, how you can get involved in the 2020 Summit...PM Kevin Rudd will convene an Australia 2020 Summit to bring together some of the best brains from across the country to tackle the long term challenges confronting Australia’s future.

The Summit website has now been launched. For all the details, including how you might participate, visit: http://www.australia2020.gov.au/

SMH's Horin alarmist on migrants & volunteering

The SMH article by Adele Horin ‘Fewer volunteers in migrant suburbs’ (11 Feb) on a study by Ernest Healy at Monash University contains too narrow a focus on volunteering and is alarmist in its conclusion that ethnic diversity can hasten a withdrawal from "collective life."

The Healy study doesn’t capture the informal nature of help provided by migrants to friends, neighbours and their immediate community. Also, Horin fails to describe any general withdrawal or breakdown in society. Therefore Horin’s statement that the findings “challenge the notion that ethnic diversity leads to a stronger, more cohesive society” is flawed and alarmist.

I think we are doing ok with our ethnic diversity. The Dept of Immigration & Multicultural Affairs tells us “Since 1945 more than six million people have settled in Australia and in 60 years of post-war migration Australia's population has jumped from 6 million to approximately 20 million.

43 per cent of Australians were either born overseas or have at least one parent who was born overseas
Overseas born Australians come from nearly 200 countries
Some Australians have been here thousands of years
We speak over 200 languages, including Indigenous languages.”


Enough of the fear, let’s have more resources to make multiculturalism work better…and get more people volunteering.