Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2018
Greater Shepparton City Council adopted its first Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and associated Action Plan at the Ordinary Council meeting on 20 March 2012 and in September 2015 adopted the second strategy and action plan.
The Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2018 is intended to continue, and build on, existing initiatives and partnerships developed throughout the first strategy. This strategy and action plan is inclusive of all multicultural communities regardless of age, socio economic status, sexuality and gender and is based on valuing communities, recognising their contribution to our society and celebrating the many cultures and the diversity it brings to the area. The strategy aligns with the Municipal Association of Victoria’s (MAV) Statement of Commitment to Cultural Diversity that aims to promote and facilitate good multicultural practice and leadership within and across Victorian local government.
The strategy’s action plan aligns with the five strategic directions of the Greater Shepparton Council Plan 2013-2017:
- Active & Engaged Community (Social)
Improve liveability through social and recreational opportunities, a range of inclusive community services and activities valuing our diversity.
- Enhancing the Environment (Natural)
Continue to value our heritage, open spaces and natural environments, maintaining and enhancing them, and enabling greater access for people to connect with our environment.
- Economic Prosperity (Economic)
Promote economic growth through working with existing businesses and industries, encouraging new business development and diversification, attracting supporting education within our city, and strengthening the agricultural industry.
- Quality Infrastructure (Built)
Provide and maintain urban and rural infrastructure to support development and liveability of our communities.
- High Performing Organisation (Leadership & Governance)
Deliver council services to the community efficiently, and provide leadership and governance that is future thinking, transparent and accountable.
The 2015-2018 Strategy’s Action Plan aids in empowering communities to continue to embrace their culture and their capacity to share it with the rest of the community, creating a greater understanding and respect for each other, multiculturalism and strengthen a socially cohesive society. It will enable education and communication on a number of subjects including leadership, employment, sporting activities through to the importance of emergency services, Australian laws and risks of alcohol and other drugs.
Through the action plan Council will continue to support the community to share and showcase their cultures through promotion of multicultural precincts and festivals and support communities to hold their own events which will include resources and information sessions to help with applying for grants. Other initiatives will encourage a greater understanding of employment procedures, work experience and apprenticeship and traineeships, advocacy for affordable housing needs, continued improvement in communication and services to communities and education to improve knowledge about culture and religion.
Racism. It Stops With Me.
'Racism. It Stops With Me.' is a campaign by the Australian Human Rights Commission national campaign which invites all Australians to reflect on what they can do to counter racism wherever it happens.
Greater Shepparton City Council is pleased to be a key signatory partner with the campaign.
This national anti-discrimination campaign aligns with Greater Shepparton City Council’s cultural diversity initiatives through the Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan and Council’s Aboriginal six point Partnership Plan.
Refugee Welcome Zone
Greater Shepparton has a strong and significant history of welcoming refuges into this community and in March 2014 the Greater Shepparton City Council signed the declaration to be a Refugee Welcome Zone. A Refugee Welcome Zone is a Local Government Area which has made a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into the community, upholding the human rights of refugees, demonstrating compassion for refugees and enhancing cultural and religious diversity in the community.
This initiative began in 2002 to recognise Australia being home to over 800,000 refugees since the Second World War. This Refugee Council of Australia sees the public commitment from Council’s to acknowledgment the relationships they have with refugee communities and the tremendous contributions refugees have made to Australian society in the fields of medicine, science, engineering, sport, education and the arts.
The RECOGNISE campaign, facilitated by Recognition Australia, supports the people’s movement for Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (ATSI). Australia’s Constitution was written more than a century ago. At which point, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had lived in this land for more than 40,000 years, keeping alive the world’s oldest continuous culture. However Australia’s founding document did not recognise this first chapter of our national story. Greater Shepparton has one of the largest Indigenous populations outside metropolitan Melbourne which is reported to be home to more than 2000, however anecdotally the number is believed to be much higher than this.