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Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Senator Stephens visits WA migrant resource centre

Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Ursula Stephens, visited the Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre in Western Australia today.

Senator Stephens met staff and participants in the centre’s LEAD youth leadership program, which was funded $101,475 from the Australian Government’s Community Investment Program for 2010-2011.

The program provides leadership training for young people aged 16 to 25 from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Senator Stephens said the program not only benefitted participants, by encouraging self awareness and expression, it also has far reaching benefits for their respective communities.

“The program empowers young people to develop productive ways of addressing issues faced by their community, equipping them with the skills, enthusiasm, and courage needed to be the voice of their communities, both now and in the future,” Senator Stephens said.

“As community leaders these young people will make an invaluable contribution to society.

“They will be positive role models within their own communities and demonstrate the extraordinary value that a diversity of cultures brings to Australian society.

“Community leaders support and enable their communities in engaging with the wider community.

“They act as a conduit by which mainstream society can learn about and familiarise themselves with the culture and customs of their communities.

“Therefore helping to bridge the cultural divide and create inclusive communities.

“Like the LEAD youth leadership program, the Government’s Social Inclusion Agenda aims to nurture a society in which all Australians, regardless of their culture, religion, age or disability, are able to participate fully within society.

Visit www.socialinclusion.gov.au to find out more about the Government’s social inclusion agenda.