Canberra’s diverse community leaders gathered last week for the 2014 ACT Multicultural Summit.

Held to collect the views of the participants to inform the ACT Government’s roadmap for enhancing the national capital’s multicultural way of life, the summit focussed on three key themes:

  • Accessible and responsive services;
  • Citizenship, participation and social cohesion; and
  • Capitalising on the benefits of Canberra’s cultural diversity.

The second theme on social cohesion was already covered in the earlier One Canberra Symposium. Its co-chair, Azra Khan, presented the implementation plan for social cohesion and asked for feedback.  The symposium meets again in April 2015 before the plan is implemented in the second half of next year.

The discussion on the first and third themes was held in the form of workshops. Key messages coming out of the discussions were:

  • Provide better support to the more transient members of the ACT community, including 457 visa holders, international students and fly-in, fly-out workers.
  • Continue, improve and extend community and neighbourhood engagement activities and include multicultural and diverse themes into these activities.
  • Provide a one-stop portal for residents and visitors to Canberra seeking cultural support groups, services and events.

These themes are part of the Capital Cultural Discussion Paper – the purpose of which is to lay the foundation for the ACT Multicultural Framework 2015-2018.