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Category: Interviews »

Subject: Cultural Studies »

Ten critical challenges on cultural diversity

George Lekakis.

Victorian Multicultural Commission chair George Lekakis identifies the ten critical challenges for the Commission and the government in relation to cultural diversity



Date Added:

03 March 2009


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

5.3 MB






It has not been easy, the bucket of funds that we do have, have not always been enough and we have some critical areas like providing adequate interpreting and translating services to our courts and tribunals, to our hospitals and again, Iíll go back to Mum and Dad, when they relied on somebody to communicate with any authority and the fact that Ė the Kennett legacy left it privatised. And we havenít restored it back to a government-run service. And if itís the last thing I do, then itís what I want to do. I want to be able to deliver a government funded service, maintain an interpreting profession thatís happy about doing their job and being Ė because I find that the critical key to a cohesive society.


You can talk about programs, you can talk about a lot of things, but if people canít communicate, thatís where the problems start to occur, obviously the need for housing and employment and targeting employment programs to support people who are disadvantaged, whoever they might be, from whatever country of the world, whether they are skilled or refugees or from whatever country, if there are targeted programs that can help them get jobs, get their family home, then the rest of the community can care for one another, engaging the stakeholders to articulate what their vision is for a precinct, rather than imposing it Ė harmony initiatives in local communities.


My dream is to have what used to happen in the ECCs with local, regional, country, Melbourne base to have the same things occur in the interfaith area. And through those networks and relationships will come better goodwill, better understanding of one another and thatís what weíd hope for really. You hope for people to get on with their lives, do the things that they care about and treasure but at the same time get on with one another.


End transcript