Addressing Cultural Diversity

Article image - Addressing Cultural Diversity MAV conference keynote speaker Fatima Shama.

Wyndham City Council hosted the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV)’s inaugural biennial multicultural policy development conference on the 12th of September. 

The fully subscribed conference deliberated on statewide local government cultural diversity planning issues, with an emphasis on better partnerships with the community sector, State, and Federal Governments.

There was a particular focus on local government’s role in migrant and refugee resettlement, in giving leadership around social cohesion issues, and on achieving better access and equity outcomes.

“Local government is the level of government closest to the people,” said MAV President Cr Bill McArthur while addressing the conference.

“We are 79 councils in Victoria and 565 councils Australia-wide. 

“We are uniquely placed to deliver better social cohesion, settlement planning and access and equity outcomes locally for all Australian communities.

“To do this effectively we need strong partnerships with the other two levels of government; including better resourcing and stronger leadership.

“In particular, our disparate local government authorities need a higher level of commitment from State and Federal governments to re-establish an agreed framework for inter-governmental planning and coordination.

“Hopefully, the new National Settlement Framework will be a welcome first step towards that.”

The conference keynote speaker was Fatima Shama, the former Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (via Skype). 

She presented on NYC’s twelve Blueprints for Migrant Integration, which can be accessed at

This and other conference presentations, and related resources, will soon be posted on the MAV’s ‘multicultural’ webpage.