Ac­tion plan to make most of a good mix

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION - Tim Slater

CITY of Bel­mont’s mul­ti­cul­tural ac­tion plan will be the start­ing point to help the com­mu­nity con­nect and grow to­gether, ac­cord­ing to Cul­tural Di­ver­sity Fo­cus Group (CDFG) mem­ber Kathy War­ren.

Ms War­ren, who is an English teacher at Bel­mont City Col­lege, said the City’s cul­tural make-up had changed dra­mat­i­cally in re­cent years.

She said the col­lege had stu­dents from 70 dif­fer­ent na­tions and the di­ver­sity was ac­cepted as nor­mal and cel­e­brated by ev­ery­one.

“The kids love it, it’s natural for them, they’re grow­ing up not with it be­ing ab­nor­mal and be­ing wary of dif­fer­ent cul­tures and races,” Ms War­ren said.

“They are their best friends, they learn from each other, they grow with each other.”

Ms War­ren said she used to work with peo­ple who had hu­man­i­tar­ian visas and helped set­tle them into the area and wel­comed the City’s ini­tia­tive.

“It’s brought me a lot of joy know­ing that the voices of the chil­dren and their fam­i­lies at the col­lege have got an op­por­tu­nity to be heard by the coun­cil,” she said.

“And their needs have now got an op­por­tu­nity to be recog­nised and met.”

An­other CDFG mem­ber, Hana Byam­badash, said the most im­por­tant part of cul­tures were hid­den.

“We all need to in­ter­act with each other and dis­cover our cul­tures,” she said.

“We need to learn the dif­fer­ences then cel­e­brate and grow to­gether.”

Bel­mont MLA Glenys God­frey at­tended the launch, rep­re­sent­ing Cit­i­zen­ship and Mul­ti­cul­tural In­ter­ests Min­is­ter Mike Na­han.

Ms God­frey said the State Gov­ern­ment “strongly sup­ported” ini­tia­tives that deep­ened re­spect and un­der­stand­ing be­tween cul­tures.

“WA’s rich cul­tural di­ver­sity is a source of many ben­e­fits for ev­ery­one and it en­riches our en­tire so­ci­ety,” she said.

Cr Bernie Ryan, Cr Lau­ren Cay­oun, Kathy War­ren, Bel­mont MLA Glenys God­frey, Hana Byam­badash, Jose Ci­cil­iama, Fa­timah Ah­madi, Mayor Phil Marks, Ash­ley Worth, Swan MLA Steve Irons and Jamila Ham­den.

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