Media Release by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

Young Muslims contribute to harmony

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, yesterday used a Sydney conference to recognise the contribution of Australian Muslims.

Organised by the Lebanese Muslim Association, the Sydney Muslim Conference brought young people together and highlighted how Islam plays a positive role in a harmonious society. It included speakers, workshops and panel discussions.

Representing the Prime Minister, The Hon Tony Abbott MP and the Minister for Social Services, the Hon Kevin Andrews MP, Senator Fierravanti-Wells said the conference was further proof of the diversity we enjoy in Australia.

“I was particularly impressed that of the hundreds in attendance there were so many young people.”

“Our way of life has been enriched by the diversity and social cohesion we enjoy and the Muslim Australian communities have contributed to this.”

According to the 2011 census, there are 476,000 Australians who call Australia home, including 179,000 who were born here.

“Muslim Australians contribute greatly to the fabric of our country as doctors, lawyers, artists, athletes, tradespeople, comedians, business people and parents. They are everyday Australians who have helped enrich what has become one of the most cohesive and prosperous societies in the world,” said Senator Fierravanti-Wells.

The conference follows a recent report showing strong support for diversity.

“The Scanlon Foundation’s Mapping Social Cohesion Report found that 85 per cent of Australians agreed multiculturalism has been good for the nation,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“The Government supports a successful multicultural society. We earmarked more than $545 million in the Budget for initiatives for multicultural communities over the next four years.

“This conference engaged, challenged and grew a shared vision for cohesive Australian Muslim communities,” said Senator Fierravanti-Wells.