A diverse, positive country is a strong country

If you ever need a clear, succinct outline of just how crucial migration and multiculturalism has been to Australia’s success – and just how damaging it has been when the country has succumbed to divisive leadership that sought to cause division by attacking this – read George Megalogenis’ book Australia’s Second Chance.

The potential for the final few weeks of the campaign to be filled with slurs against migrants and refugees is strong, so there are a series of events being held across Brisbane to help give people the facts they need to fight back against racism and xenophobia and to show what a better society can look like.

With nominations for the Senate in Queensland now closed, we see a host of parties and candidates running with a strong focus on attacking and vilifying sections of our community – whether it be against refugees, migrants, Muslims, multiculturalism, gays and lesbians or First Nations people. At least six parties fall into this category, including Pauline Hanson, who has a real chance of winning. The Greens also have a good chance of winning that final Senate seat, which would be a seat currently held by the conservative side.

I strongly believe that multiculturalism makes us stronger, safer, happier and more prosperous. In this election we’ve seen slurs against migrants and refugees fly freely – including most tragically by the Immigration Minister, who even more tragically was then backed up by our nation’s Prime Minister!

This year, Brisbane has been at the forefront of the change seen in the national debate about refugees, with the Sanctuary movement gaining momentum in many local churches, and the amazing response to Baby Asha’s plight in the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital. This is the community that I am proud to promote and be a part of.

The events being planned will be sort of like speed-dating with a social conscience. People will get to share in a series of fifteen minute conversations with speakers from migrant and refugee backgrounds, then advocates and academics, then activists. You’ll get all the personal stories, facts and figures you need and some concrete ways to stand up for our strong, healthy, diverse society in the last weeks of this election campaign and beyond.

Come to one these four events in the coming weeks, and tell your friends and family about them.

Event 1

Dr Kristen Lyons will be co-hosting
Monday 13th June 2-4pm
Annerley Bowls Club
104 Frederick St, Annerley

Performances by the Tichawona and Velvet duo


Event 2

Steve Purcell will be co-hosting
Thursday 16th June 6.30-8.30PM
Inala Community House
38 Sittella Street, Inala

Performances by Rachael Jacob’s Bollywood Dance Troupe


Event 3

Kirsten Lovejoy and Sandra Bayley invite you to join them:

Friday 17th June 6.30 for 7pm
BrisWest Centre
132 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington

Performances by Rachael Jacob’s Bollywood Dance Troupe


Contact: Don 0405 721 617

Event 4

Karen Anderson will be hosting the forum
Friday 24th June, 7-9pm
Dutton Park State School Hall,112 Annerley Rd Dutton Park.


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