House debates

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Statements by Members

Rankin Electorate: Multiculturalism

1:36 pm

Photo of Jim ChalmersJim Chalmers (Rankin, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

Not a day goes by that I do not feel particularly blessed to represent one of the most multicultural and diverse electorates in the entire Commonwealth. So it was two Fridays ago when I went to Woodridge state primary school for their school fete. I went into the quadrangle there and saw the sign they had painted on one of their walls, which was a rainbow, and the sign said: 'We are many colours and we are one.

That is a tremendous sentiment for the young people in my electorate to learn and to cherish.

We are strengthened and sustained by the diversity that comes from people from 189 homelands in Rankin. That diversity is our strength; it is not a weakness. It is an opportunity to grasp; it is not a downside to be managed away. We are doing our best to build a community that looks after for each other. We recognise that we have different cultures but common aspirations for our young people—to live in harmony and safety, to provide opportunities for those young people and to combat disadvantage and marginalisation wherever it exists. I say to my community, 'Lets keep making that genuine effort to make the place where we live more harmonious and even more inclusive, because the more we understand each other the more we can live in a spirit of cohesion, collaboration and cooperation.'