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Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Inner and Eastern Sydney Migrant Interagency Multicultural Forum

Senator, the Hon Ursula Stephens, today spoke at the Inner and Eastern Sydney Migrant Interagency (IESMI) Multicultural Forum, Multiculturalism and Social Inclusion, Information and Strategy Forum on Cultural Diversity and Social Justice.

IESMI has been established since 1999 and comprises community workers, government and non-government agency representatives from across five Local Government Areas of Sydney.

Dr Stephens began by acknowledging the positive contribution that people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds make to Australian society.

“Religious and cultural diversity is a permanent and valuable feature of Australian society,” said Ms Stephens.

Senator Stephens acknowledged the importance of such interagencies and forums.

“Forums such as today’s play an integral role in highlighting and disseminating information about the barriers that people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds can face and the policies and programs that are designed to assist them,” she said.

Dr Stephens emphasised the importance of the third sector and all levels of government working together to improve the participation of Australians in Australian society.

She also spoke about the role the Australian Government’s Social Inclusion Agenda plays in enabling all individuals, regardless of background or circumstance, to fully participate in the economic, social and civic life of their community.

“The Agenda provides a framework for work across the whole of government with an overall goal of giving all Australians the opportunity to fully participate in Australian society,” she said.

Further information on the Social Inclusion Agenda can be accessed via the Social Inclusion website (