The Department of Immigration and Citizenship in Australia has set out its vision of a socially inclusive society in which everyone feels valued and has the opportunity to participate fully in the social, economic and cultural life of the country consistent with their immigration status. In a new document it sets out its plans for the next few years to work towards the creation of multicultural access and equity in the department and across all Australian Government agencies.
‘We are committed to understanding Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse population and how we can best meet its needs. We strive for high quality, accessible, client centric services in pursuit of equitable outcomes for eligible Australians, regardless of cultural and linguistic backgrounds and for effective policies, programmes and service delivery,’ it says in its Agency Multicultural Plan 2013-2015. The document describes the department’s business as building Australia’s future through the well managed movement and settlement of people.
Since its establishment in 1945, the department has managed the arrival and settlement in Australia of more than 7.2 million migrants from over 200 countries, including more than 800,000 refugees. The department works with a wide range of culturally and linguistically diverse clients and is positioned in 58 offices across the world. The department is committed to ensuring it is open and accountable, deals fairly and reasonably with clients and has staff that are well trained and supported.
‘The work of the department impacts Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse society fundamentally through our nation building mission. We facilitate immigration and citizenship outcomes, manage Australia’s borders in terms of the flow of people and provide settlement services to support newly arrived migrants to fully participate in Australian society,’ the report points out.
‘In all of these activities we engage with and provide services to people whose cultural and linguistic needs must be considered. We have many different clients and stakeholders with high levels of diversity. We acknowledge we need to ensure our policies, programmes, service delivery, communication, engagement and activities conducted by our service partners and contractors are responsive to needs resulting from cultural and linguistic diversity,’ it adds.
The plan will create a mechanism to enhance cultural competency and improve responsiveness to Australia’s cultural and linguistic diversity. It pledges to improve the effectiveness of service delivery as well as policy and programme development and design in a planned, methodical and measurable way. ‘This work is incredibly important because it goes to the very core of what this department is about and what all of us do in our work every day.
It is very much a part of this department’s nation building agenda. It is about public service and how we respect and properly service the multicultural diversity of Australia,’ said Wendy Southern, multicultural access and equity champion.
AUGUST 14, 2013