Australia is the most successful multicultural society in the world, uniting a multitude of cultures, experiences, beliefs, and traditions. We owe our accomplishments as a nation to the contributions of more than 300 different ancestries—from the First Australians to the newest arrivals.
We have flourished in part thanks to our cultural diversity that is underpinned by our common values and commitment to freedom, security, and prosperity.
Our nation is enriched by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the oldest surviving culture on the planet, and the millions of people who have chosen to make a new life here.
For more than 50,000 years First Australians have lived, learned, adapted and survived on the lands we now call Australia. Living side by side, they consisted of over 250 different language groups or ‘nations’ across the continent, each with distinctive cultures, beliefs, and dialects. Descendants of these nations represent the oldest surviving culture on the planet and have stories of times and places beyond the memory of any other people.
The story continued with the foundation of modern Australia, through British and Irish settlement and the establishment of our parliamentary democracy, institutions and law. Over time, our story grew to include the millions of people from all continents who have made Australia home.
Today, Australians welcome those who have migrated here to be part of our free and open society, to build their lives and make a contribution to our nation.
Over time, this coming together of many peoples helped build our infrastructure, enlivened our communities, enhanced our cultural experiences, increased our opportunities and, most significantly, expanded the way we see and engage with the world.
Building mutual obligations between government, the community, and the individual – regardless of nationality – strengthens our resilience and sense of belonging.
SOURCE: Australian Department of Social Services. “Multicultural Australia: United, strong, successful.” DSS, 20 March 2017
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BroCAP is produced by the two librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia.