Australia is a dynamic, diverse and multi-cultural nation. It’s important that we reflect this in the way we celebrate Australia Day.
Being inclusive means that Australians of all ages, gender, sexual orientation, ability level, disability, socio-economic circumstances, location, linguistic differences and ethnic background have the chance to participate and feel included in our community.
By being inclusive we:
- Treat people with respect by acknowledging and accepting differences
- Demonstrate Australia’s 'fair go' ethos
- Value the interests and experiences of individuals
- Create dynamic and interesting celebrations.
Catering for differences can harness energies and knowledge, reinvigorate event organisation, add colour and spectacle to an event.
A commitment to inclusivity does not mean that Australia Day organisers should not design and offer events targeted at specific groups in the community, but rather that we are mindful of our community as a whole.
Here’s a snapshot of our diverse community.
Multicultural Australia - A nation of diversity
Australians speak more than 300 languages, including Indigenous languages. We identify with more than 200 ancestries and practice a range of religions. Australia's cultural diversity is a reality which will continue.
The following concise profile of contemporary Australia clearly testifies to cultural diversity among people living here.
The statistics in the following profile are from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census 2006 unless otherwise indicated.
Residents born outside Australia
- In mid-2006 there were 4,956,863 residents in Australia who were born outside Australia, representing nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of the Australian resident population.
- In 2005-06, more than 131,000 people immigrated to Australia, mainly from Asia and Oceania. The migration target for 2006-07 was 144,000.
- Australia has no state religion. Sixty-four per cent of Australians were listed as Christian of any denomination, including 26 per cent as Roman Catholic and 19 per cent as Anglican. 'No religion' (which includes humanism, atheism, agnosticism, and rationalism) accounted for 19 per cent; and a further 12 per cent declined to answer or did not give a response adequate for interpretation. About five per cent were of non-Christian religions.
- Of the Australian population of 20,7015,000 in 2006 census 517,200 were Indigenous
- Among the Indigenous population in 2006, a total of 463,900 or 90 per cent were estimated as being of Aboriginal origin only, while 33,100 or six per cent were of Torres Strait Islander origin only, and 20,200 or four per cent were of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.
Your community may not have great ethnic or cultural diversity or religious diversity. But every community has some diversity.
A culturally inclusive event is one where participants and organisers value, respect and explore diversity, and actively seek to learn from other cultures.
If you would like more information on ensuring your event is inclusive click through to the resources and case studies below.