15 May, 2019

The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:52): Today, I am delighted to speak about multicultural affairs, the portfolio that I am passionate about and honoured to serve in my capacity as Assistant Minister to the Premier. I have been very fortunate to have been entrusted by the Liberal Party, in opposition and now in government, to work directly in the portfolio of multicultural affairs since I was elected in 2010.

Being a migrant myself, I know from my own experience that when people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds have a greater sense of connection to their family and are able to readily access their community with shared values, cultures and trust, individuals, children, young people and families from a multicultural background can feel a strong sense of belonging and inner worth that helps them to build resilience, confidence and pride at home and within the community.

With this in mind, I am very proud that the Marshall Liberal government is showing great leadership and commitment to ensuring that South Australia's multicultural communities are well supported through quality services and programs. To ensure funding better meets the needs and aspirations of our growing multicultural communities, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, which is now a unit of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, has completed a comparative review across all jurisdictions of Australia and designed an equitable funding structure that is more integrated and better suited to meet the needs of our multicultural communities.

All honourable members of parliament and multicultural community organisations in our state were duly informed by the Premier, the Hon. Steven Marshall, and I about the new multicultural grants program for 2019-20 on Friday 5 April 2019. It is my privilege to highlight the four streams of the multicultural grants program today in parliament. The underpinning principle and key theme about each grant is the word 'together'. Together is a powerful word because it is about fostering strong partnerships between government and our community. By working closely with multicultural communities we can achieve better outcomes and deliver more benefits to our community.

I would like to take this opportunity to briefly outline the four streams of multicultural grants. The first grant program is Advance Together. We appreciate that multicultural organisations were established to advance the interests and status of members of their community. Our government wants to ensure they have the right structure, knowledge and acumen to sustain the growth and development of their organisations. Therefore, the Advance Together grant is to assist multicultural organisations to improve their governance and strengthen their capacity-building skills. This is a new program which is designed to meet the critical need within the community to build the internal capacity.

The second grant program is Celebrate Together. Celebrate Together grants will assist multicultural organisations to host festivals and events which showcase their rich diverse culture and customs with the wider South Australian community and to build a visible profile to highlight the unique cultural brand of South Australia.

The third grant program is Expand Together. This grant program assists multicultural organisations to expand their capacity by upgrading community facilities or purchasing equipment to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Expand Together grants aim to ensure that there are community hubs, facilities and equipment for community members to come together to access the services and programs they need and connect with the wider network of the local community.

The fourth grant program is Stronger Together. Stronger Together grants assist multicultural organisations to develop and deliver projects that strengthen families and communities and improve their access to better social and economic opportunities. Through this grant program, the government is prioritising funding for initiatives that will strengthen relationships for families and communities to work together, foster healthy family relationships and improve wellbeing and outcomes for community functioning. We encourage diverse communities to develop socially inclusive strategies to embrace new opportunities and to solve problems readily.

The Marshal Liberal government is committed to building a stronger multicultural South Australia. I encourage all eligible multicultural organisations to apply for these grants and wish them every success.