In 1998, the Queensland Government introduced the Multicultural Queensland Policy. The most recent Queensland Cultural Diversity Policy was launched in 2013. This policy is a blueprint for how to best manage cultural diversity to promote economic and social well-being. For more information on this policy and its application see the Multicultural Affairs Queensland website.
State and Federal government departments are now required to ensure that the programs they provide service the entire range of potential clients. This process has been called mainstreaming - ensuring that all services provided or funded by government are culturally inclusive. Departments are also using other ways such as developing multicultural sensitive funding requirements, conducting community education and awareness training for communities to access mainstream services.Organisations should respond to cultural diversity in their communities for many reasons, including:
- Social justice obligations, as reflected in government policies and international treaties.
- Rapidly increasing numbers of people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
- The disproportionate number, in some cultural groups, of people experiencing social exclusion and a high need for social services, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- Community aspirations such as multiculturalism and self-determination.
- The requirements of funding bodies.
- Requirements of legislation such as the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 and the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of a range of attributes including race, religion or political belief.
- Maximisation of diverse skills and knowledge through community engagement.
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