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Australian multiculturalism as an ideal or a reality?

Is Australia's multiculturalism really enabling greater diversity?


Andrea González

Rajvir Gill

Multiculturalism is a concept that is readily used by political leaders across countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. It is likened to political attempts to develop more positive attitudes toward minority groups. In essence, multiculturalism as a policy aims to recognize and respect everyone’s diverse identities.

However, the Global Pluralism Monitor: Australia report, uncovers the realities of the how diverse identities are accepted in Australia.  Using the framework under the dimension of National Commitments (see: Monitor Methodology),  Australia has numerous legal commitments and policies that seek to engrain diversity into its national identity. However, when examining the implementation of national laws institutionally and throughout society, Australia falls short. While Australia celebrates diversity as an ideal, concerns over multiculturalism’s impact on Australian ways of life prevent diversity from being fully celebrated in practice. What results is a nation whose policies attempt to generate a pluralistic outlook but internally, minority communities do not yet receive equal treatment.

To read more about the status of minority groups in Australia, visit the Australia Country page.