The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, the Hon Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, today attended Nowruz celebrations with Afghan and Iranian women at the Diamond Palace in Guildford.
The Senator, who has special responsibility for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services said, “Today is a very special occasion for the Iranian and Afghan communities, both in Australia and around the world, as you come together to celebrate your hopes for a prosperous new year.”
“It is also an important occasion for all Australians to share your unique and vibrant cultural traditions and I acknowledge the organisation of this event by Anglicare. It is yet another example of the rich diversity that both strengthens and unifies this country.”
Senator Fierravanti-Wells used the occasion to highlight Harmony Day celebrations on 21 March.
“For almost 15 years Harmony Day has shared the message that Everyone Belongs–from the traditional owners of this land, to those who have come here from many countries around the world,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.
“I am pleased to see a record number of Harmony Day celebrations registered this year, including by the Afghan community in Ingleburn.”
“As the daughter of migrants myself, I understand the need to belong. It’s something felt in all of us. I understand that migration also brings many challenges, acclimatising to a new language and a new society.”
Senator Fierravanti-Wells said over the past 20 years new arrivals from Afghanistan and Iran have increasingly contributed to the diversity of Australia.
“The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that all new migrants are able to participate in the social, cultural and economic success of this nation. To achieve this we offer settlement services that aim to help refugees and migrants become self-reliant and fully participate in all aspects of Australian life as quickly as possible,” the Senator said.
For more information on settlement services see http://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/settlement-and-multicultural-affairs/programs-policy