Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Joy Burch today announced the final membership of the reference group tasked with overseeing actions to promote community harmony identified at the landmark One Canberra Symposium.
“The tragic, criminal events in Sydney have underscored the importance of maintaining a socially cohesive community, where people of all cultures and faiths are respected and respect each other,” Ms Burch said.
“I have met today with leaders from our interfaith community and with Chief Police Officer Rudi Lammers and the Human Rights and Discrimination Commission to discuss how to take the ideas and suggestions raised at the One Canberra Symposium forward.
“Canberra has a strong and safe multicultural community and it is important to emphasise that no specific threat to the ACT has been identified at this time.
“As the Chief Minister said yesterday, the ACT Government is working closely with ACT Policing and national committees to ensure our planning elements are sufficiently in place for the on-going security and safety of the community.
“The One Canberra Symposium addressed concerns from members of our multicultural community and galvanised energy for an even more socially-cohesive community.
“Ideas raised ranged from using mosques to prepare food packages for homeless people, to creating a reflections centre in Civic for people of all faiths, and holding a week of events celebrating multiculturalism.
“Following the Symposium, I announced that John Hargreaves and President of the Canberra Islamic Centre Azra Khan would co-chair a reference group to put the ideas into action.
“Today I announce that the members of the reference group will be:
- Jeeven Nadanakumar (community member)
- Dewani Bakkum (CEO Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services of the ACT)
- Adongwot Manyoul (community member and member of the One Canberra expert panel)
- Ahmad Hendricks (community member and member of the One Canberra expert panel)
- Hongsar Channaibanya (project officer, Companion House) and
- Dean Sahu Kahn (ACT Interfaith Forum).
“The reference group co-chairs have presented their proposed work plan, including how their work will fit in with the overall process to developing the next strategic document for ACT multicultural affairs. The group will report back to government in June 2015.
“I want this reference group to advise me on making the One Canberra ideas a reality.”
For One Canberra Symposium video highlights visit www.youtube.com/user/DHCSOnline
(Joy Burch Media Release)