Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Senator the Hon Kate Lundy

Minister for Sport, Multicultural Affairs, Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation

Celebrating multicultural Australia

Joint media release
15 February 2013

The Gillard Government is celebrating multicultural Australia with a new heritage theme for 2013 looking at the stories and contribution of migrants.

Environment Minister, Tony Burke and Multicultural Affairs Minister, Kate Lundy today called on the community to bring forward nominations for national heritage places around a new theme celebrating multicultural Australia.

“For every Australian, the story of their family heritage is either the story of the first Australians or a story of the journey here,” Mr Burke said.

“The national heritage list has many examples of indigenous heritage and many examples of our colonial history, but I have never understood why we have been so slow to recognise the heritage of those families who have come to Australia in the many waves of immigration we have had subsequent to our colonial history.

“No matter what religion people are, no matter what part of the world they came from, whether they came here for job or whether they came fleeing persecution, their stories are part of Australia’s story.

“The whole concept of the heritage list is to tell the story of Australia. Only when the multicultural stories are added will the list truly tell the story of our nation.”

Senator Lundy said Australia is a successful multicultural nation with over 7 million migrants successfully settling here since the Second World War.

“Australia’s multicultural story is an important part of our national history,’’ Senator Lundy said.

“I encourage Australians to nominate places that capture the contributions of migrants so their legacy can continue for future generations.”

A call for nominations for places on the National Heritage and Commonwealth Heritage lists is currently open and will close on 15 March 2013.

For more information go to www.environment.gov.au/heritage/nominating/index.html