The new Chair of the Community Relations Commission of NSW, Vic Alhadeff, has called for Australia Day to be a day of celebration of our multicultural society.
“The strength of our great nation is our diversity and the harmony that we preserve within that diversity,” he said.
“I am delighted to see so many community groups organising their own Australia Day celebration and sharing their vision of Australia with people of multiple backgrounds.
“In her Australia Day Address the 2013 Australian of the Year, Ita Buttrose, reminded us that as recently as 1939, 98 per cent of Australia’s population was either born or descended from families in the British Isles, that by 1979 almost 12 per cent of the population had no such connection and that today fewer than half of us report British or Irish ancestry. Those figures tell an important story about who we are as a nation, about who we are as the Australian people, and Australia Day is the most appropriate moment to recognise and celebrate this reality.
“There are many among us who left difficult circumstances in former homeland to make a new life in Australia, and they too have much to celebrate on this day.
“Australia is a remarkable success story which cannot be matched. That is why we Australians, originating as we do from 170 different backgrounds, should celebrate together on our national day and embrace our rich identity.”
Interviews: Vic Alhadeff 0408 964 358