Project status: In Progress

Canberra is a rich, diverse and proudly multicultural community. To acknowledge this, the ACT Government is developing a new law on multiculturalism.

Following extensive community consultation, the ACT Government introduced the Multiculturalism Bill 2022 to the ACT Legislative Assembly in October 2022, defining what an inclusive city looks like and what we are striving to achieve as a community.

The bill follows 2 rounds of community consultation on what was initially called the Multicultural Recognition Act.

The new title “multiculturalism” reflects the feedback we received from the community that the legislation should celebrate multiculturalism and diversity, not only recognise it.

The Listening Report with a summary of what we heard from you during the round of consultation is available.

The Multiculturalism Bill 2022:

  1. Establishes a Multicultural Charter - the Charter sets out principles for supporting diversity, inclusion and belonging. It will guide the government when developing, delivering and evaluating policies, programs and services.
  2. Formalises the Multicultural Advisory Council - this group advises the Minister for Multicultural Affairs on issues of concern for culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
  3. Requires ACT Government agencies to report on how they are promoting and implementing the Act.

Consultation on the Act

The second and most recent consultation period on the Multicultural Recognition Act took place in June and July 2022 when we sought your views on 3 specific areas:

We held conversations online, face-to-face and directly with stakeholders. People responded to a survey, provided quick comments and put forward submissions.

You can view the Listening Report to see a summary of what we heard from you during this round of consultation.

You can see the introduction to the draft law and an outline of the key issues that were discussed in the information paper Shaping the Multicultural Recognition Act for the ACT.

Information on how to access translated material and interpreters is available in multiple languages on the translation and interpretation page.

You can contact us at: oma@act.gov.au

The first round of consultation on the Multicultural Recognition Act took place in April and May 2021.

We held conversations online, face-to-face and directly with stakeholders, and received several formal submissions. This conversation was informed by a discussion paper, Towards a Multicultural Recognition Act for the Australian Capital Territory.

We heard from you about:

  • The need for a set of guiding principles expressed in a Charter that defines what our ACT community strives towards.
  • Formalising the Multicultural Advisory Council to advocate on behalf of the multicultural community.
  • The need for regular reporting by Government to the ACT community.

The feedback directly informed the development of the draft Multicultural Recognition Act. Read the Listening Report here.

Next Steps

The Multiculturalism Bill 2022 was tabled in the Legislative Assembly in October 2022.

The proposed Act may be referred to a standing committee for inquiry before being debated by members of the Legislative Assembly. Once agreed it will be passed and become law.