Welcome to ALGA's cultural diversity policy and research area
All levels of government are realising the social and economic benefits of a stable and cohesive community and the need to fully respond to all groups making up a democratic society. From citizenship to the development of liveable communities, local government welcomes, supports, embraces and celebrates the diverse experiences of all Australians.
As the level of government closest to communities, local government plays a fundamental role in facilitating the inclusion and participation of their residents. Working in partnership with community groups, service providers and residents, and state and federal agencies, local government plays an integral part in national and international efforts to understand and celebrate cultural diversity.
Many of Australia's local government areas have large numbers of constituents from different cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. This has seen the development of considerable expertise in inclusive decision making and improved access to migrant settlement, multicultural and citizenship services. Councils often have their own local programs and staff dedicated to managing cultural diversity issues, be they related to access and equity considerations, healthcare, family support, learning skills, arts and community engagement activities.
The actual responsibilities of councils across Australia with respect to cultural diversity, vary across jurisdictions, and reflect differences under state and territory legislative and regulatory frameworks. State and territory local government associations deal with state and territory governments on state specific issues.
ALGA core role is to represent the interest of local government at the national level. ALGA works closely with the Australian Government to advance cultural diversity and represents local government concerns relating to citizenship, migration and settlement policy issues.
ALGA works closely with the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship on the range of cultural diversity, immigration, settlement and citizenship initiatives relevant to local government and the diverse communities it represents. Further details of the work of the Department and its programs can be found at http://www.diac.gov.au/.