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Senator Nash: Gains of Australia’s Multicultural Policies

Minister for Regional Development Senator Fiona Nash said there will be critics of multicultural policy “but if we are honest enough to objectively look at the success of Australia’s skilled and humanitarian migration programmes There, the results are  unambiguously positive.”

Senator Nash said this during the launch of the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal, National Multicutural Launch for 2016 held at Taaza Café in Leichardt, NSW last Monday 16 May 2016.

Now on its fiftieth year, the Red Shield Appeal is a uniquely Australian tradition.  Each year, volunteers undertake house-to-house door knocking or ring the doorbell asking the community to dig deep in their pocket and give generously for Salvation Army’s invaluable support to those who are down on their luck and in need of a helping hand.

Members of Sydney’s multicultural press and leaders of the city’s multicultural communities were invited to the event.  Aside from Senator Nash, those who spoke were Salvation Army Commissioner James Condon, Salvation Army Lt. Col. Samuel Pho and Multi-Connection president Mr. Joseph Assaf.

Senator Nash said a successful multicultural country relies on a number of cornerstone values; respect, compassion, understanding and basic humanity.

She said,“An understanding that newly arrived Australians often do it tough. Language barriers and different cultural norms…. Thousands of miles of ocean between family and friends. These are difficult challenges.

“But it is those basic Australian values of respect and compassion that make new migrants feel welcome and ensure their integration is seamless. These are the values that the Salvation Army has championed since its humble beginnings.”

The money raised by the Salvation Army provides programmes that are relied upon by vulnerable Australians every single day. They range from providing shelter for the homeless, assisting families in crisis through practical support and financial counselling, to guiding people with addictions through to a clean, healthy lifestyle.

The Red Shield appeal provides support for our farmers who are struggling through drought, to communities impacted by the destruction of natural disasters and to women who are struggling with domestic violence.

Senator Nash said, “The Salvation Army provides warmth when it is cold, light when it is dark and comfort when it is needed.

She added that these are qualities that define what it is to be an Australian. But they are also basic human qualities that are shared throughout the world.

Senator Nash said, “Today, The Salvation Army provides services in 127 countries through a wide variety of humanitarian programs ranging from day care centres for children to nursing homes for the aged; programs to assist those with dependency issues, the homeless, and those without advocacy.

“More than 14 million people around the world are helped every year by The Salvation Army.And in the same spirit that the Red Shield Appeal is helping Australians in need, it is that deep sense of service that now extends throughout the world.”

Senator Nash said, “And it is no wonder that so many people from around the globe have sought to make a better life in this great country. Throughout the storied history of Australia, we have opened our arms to those seeking to make a new life.

Senator Nash said, “The ongoing displacement of innocent people around the world creates many challenges for civilisation.Indeed, the influx of diverse cultures hasn’t come without controversy.”

Senator Nah said, “And they are reflected here today, and by the thousands of volunteers who will take to the streets later this month, collecting donations for the less fortunate.It is these fundamental values that make our great nation such an attractive place for so many around the world.”