South Australia took a significant step forward in promoting and recognising multiculturalism with the launch of its first Multicultural Charter last month.
How did we get here?
In 2021, The South Australian Multicultural Act repealed the former South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission Act 1980 and set in legislation the development of a new South Australian Multicultural Charter.
A draft Charter was developed by the Charter Working Group, comprising of the South Australian Multicultural Commission, key individuals such as the Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement, and representatives from various multicultural organisations including the Multicultural Communities Council of SA, the Multicultural Education Languages Committee and the Migration and Refugee Research Network.
In August 2022, Stakeholder Engagement Forums were held with key stakeholders to gather input and feedback on the draft Charter before public consultation.
The Charter then went to public consultation in October and November 2022, and members from Cornerstone Alliance participated and contributed their visions for the Charter in one of these public forums. The Working Group reviewed the consultation results and considered the feedback in developing the finalised Charter.
The final Multicultural Charter was launched in early March, and outlines six principles to promote a unified, harmonious, and inclusive South Australian community that values, respects and supports diversity.
What is a charter?
A Charter is a formal document and statement that describes the rights, aims, or principles of a group organised for some purpose.
Although the Charter is not legally enforceable, it serves as a statement of policy and commitment to inclusive practices.
What is the purpose of the Charter?
The purpose of the Charter is to provide South Australian government agencies, organisations, institutes, businesses and communities with a framework and guidance for designing and delivering policies and services that advance multiculturalism within the state.
How am I meant to use the Charter?
Organisations and communities can use the Charter as a guide to cultivate accountable and inclusive environments, fostering a deeper understanding of the multicultural history of South Australia and the importance of cultural, linguistic, racial, and religious diversity. An engagement kit and FAQ are available to supplement the Charter.
As a member of the community, promoting the Charter could involve sharing information about it with friends, family, and colleagues or using it as a resource when engaging with local organisations or government agencies. Additionally, individuals can show support for the Charter’s principles by embracing diversity and actively working to create inclusive environments.
What’s next for the Charter?
The Charter is in its implementation stage, and the Multicultural Affairs Office under the Department of the Premier and Cabinet have supported the release of the Charter with a Digital Engagement Kit featuring social media graphics and supporting information relating to the Charter.
The Department has also revealed that an organisation-based Ambassador Program will be implemented to drive activation and implementation of the Charter within the workforce and business practices of government agencies, business and non-government organisations.
What Cornerstone Alliance is doing to support the Charter?
As an agency specialising in multicultural marketing and communications, and as a small business led by multicultural Australians, we are passionate about upholding the principles of the Charter in the work we do, and ensuring that other organisations are able to do so too.
Ensuring that all Australians have equitable access to information, opportunities and services is paramount to supporting inclusive participation in all aspects of Australian society, and this concept is outlined in Principle 6 of the Charter. Cornerstone is South Australia’s only agency that specialises in marketing and communication for multicultural communities, and we are committed to working closely with multicultural organisations to ensure that your campaign is designed by and for the multicultural communities you wish to reach.
Cornerstone’s team is also made up entirely of culturally and linguistically diverse, local talent. By having a team that reflects and represents South Australia’s vibrant diversity, we exemplify an inclusive and welcoming environment, where everyone’s perspectives and contributions are valued and respected, and this carries across clearly in the work we do. Our work is crafted with the backing of lived experience and insight to suit the needs of our clients and the multicultural communities we serve. Whether we are designing graphics, writing articles or creating collateral, we always strive to connect with our audience on a deeper level and create content that contributes positively to their lives. By infusing our work with a sense of purpose and meaning, we are not only able to produce high-quality content, but also make a positive impact on the community around us.
Get in touch with us today to discover how your organisation can uphold the Charter’s principles, and strive for an inclusive and accessible Australia today.