Redefining the Mainstream: Local Government, Inclusive Communities

The Second National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism, Immigration and Human Rights


Uri Themal, OAM
Executive Director, Multicultural Affairs Queensland, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Brisbane

Multiculturalism in Local Government - Light a LAMP

It is a truism that multiculturalism is for all Australians and that ideally it should become an Australian national ethos.

In order to achieve this it is essential that it is taken to the grassroots of our population.

Whilst Commonwealth and State Governments have multicultural policies and programs their presence in Local Governments is more sporadic.

In order to create a more systematic approach to developing multicultural policies in Local Governments, Multicultural Affairs Queensland developed the Local Area Multicultural Partnership Program(LAMP). It was launched in 1998 as a key component of the Queensland Government's Multicultural Policy. It is designed as a partnership strategy between the state Government and local governments to create harmonious and cohesive community relations at the broadest possible level.

At present 14 Councils across Queensland and the Queensland Local Government Association participate in the program through strategic grants amounting to date to $2, 000, 000.

The program, which has just been independently evaluated is deemed to be most successful and quite unique in Australia.

Uri Themal is the Executive Director of Multicultural Affairs Qld in the Department of the Premier and cabinet. He has held this position for 11 years.

From 1987 to 1990 he was the Deputy Chairman of the Ethnic Affairs Commission of NSW and before that worked in the Commonwealth Government on the formulation of Multiculturalism as a policy. He also worked in the EEO Bureau on the implementation of EEO for migrants.

In his community work he was one of the architects of the Community Refugee Settlement Scheme and a founder of public multicultural Broadcasting for which he received the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1986

Presentation Type
30 min. Paper


Deakin Woolstores Campus, Geelong Waterfront
30 November - 1 December 2001