Migrant and refugee settlement agency AMES Australia has welcomed the Victorian Electoral Commission’s Multicultural Inclusion Plan for 2020-2023.
The plan is aimed at achieving greater electoral participation of people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.
AMES Australia CEO Cath Scarth said the plan was a positive move in including people from diverse communities in civic conversations and supporting them to take a full part in society.
“We know from working with people from diverse communities that they are very keen to gain citizenship and take a full part in the democratic life of the nation,” Ms Scarth said.
“Many have come from places where democracy doesn’t operate or worse, where their rights and participation in civic life is denied to them,” she said.
“Our democratic processes are one of things that newcomers to this country find attractive and they are very keen to participate. So, supporting them to take part will enhance their sense of belonging and their commitment to this country.
“Also for some, especially refugees, trying to take part in political processes can be a very dangerous thing to do.
“So supporting people from diverse backgrounds to participate in elections and will strengthen our successful brand of multiculturalism and underpin the high levels of social cohesion we enjoy in this country,” Ms Scarth said.