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How far can representation go in Australia?

In recent years, the country has witnessed numerous milestones in terms of representation.

The Global Pluralism Monitor: Australia report raises the concerning issue of the underrepresentation of Indigenous peoples and minorities in government under the Monitor dimension of Leadership (see: Monitor Methodology). However, there have been positive developments on that front, as seen in the latest federal election in 2022.

The 2022 elected government saw its first instance of Indigenous overrepresentation in both the Senate and the Parliament. Moreover, the parliament also saw a six-percentage point increase in representation of parliamentarians of a non-European or Indigenous background (from 4 percent to 10 percent, although this still represents a gross underrepresentation of minority communities). In having a government that saw its first appointment of an Asian-Australian Foreign Minister, its first ever First Nations woman chosen to be Minister for Indigenous Affairs, and first Muslim woman appointed as Minister in Early Childhood Education and Youth, Australia’s grand leap towards a more diverse government should signal a broader acceptance of diversity.

However, beyond the government, in the media and private sectors, minority communities lack the necessary representation to feel a sense of belonging and inclusion. As a result, it raises the question, how far can representation go and what do these milestones mean for the rest of civil society?

To see the status of minorities and Indigenous Peoples according to the Global Pluralism Monitor framework visit the Australia Country Page.