Australia's, stand on multiculturalism is very clearly presented in The Western Australian Charter of Multiculturalism which states "A just and fair society must be based on equality, respect for all its members and most importantly democracy." (OMI) Multiculturalism is the core essence of Australian society, which stimulates the society, economy and the politics of the country, based on the foundation of liberal democracy and pluralism, supporting ethnicity and cultural diversity.
Multiculturalism is all encompassing, a wider and more open acceptance of people within the community and nation, with emphasis on us, not 'us' and 'them'. Multiculturalism is necessary in Australia, as Australia is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world and multiculturalism is needed as consequences of mass immigration and growing cultural diversity. A close examination of the case of Australia for multiculturalism requires taking into account the historical context in which the policy of multiculturalism rose. "Australia is a nation of immigrants, initially from Great Britain, who, over the course of two centuries, displaced an indigenous population and founded a liberal-democratic state."(ww4.gu). The Western Australian Charter of Multiculturalism with its key principles was released in July, 2003 and was designed to promote recognition and difference within community and reaffirms the rights and the responsibilities of all Western Australians. The charter acknowledges Indigenous people as first Australians. (OMI) Multiculturalism in Australia is reflected in acceptance of true democratic values, which emphasizes that people do not have to give up their cultural, religious or ethnic identity, rather Australia's identity is shaped by diversity.
Multiculturalism is a system of rights and freedoms. It is a cultural right, and social justice of all citizens in a democratic state. Multiculturalism means that
Citizens of the nation are empowered so that everyone can participate in the democratic process. This process of empowering its citizens strengthens the democracy. The core feature of a democratic nation is that it makes sure that everyone enjoys equal rights and protection and opportunity, to reach their full potential with dignity and respect.
It is about recognizing the right of Western Australian citizens, to look different, speak different languages and practice different cultures. It is about democracy and citizenship. People of diverse cultures and different ethnic groups live in Australia, with certain rights and duties. Their rights include: equality in all areas of life; access to full social, economic and political participation; freedom to express our traditions and beliefs and freedom from abuse, violence and harassment due to perceived race. And their duties include: acceptance of communities, cultures and beliefs; protecting those who might be disadvantaged due to their culture and fulfilling responsibilities as citizens.(OMI)
The Commonwealth of Australia (1978) made an observation which confirms that migrants have a right to secure and maintain their cultural rights and racial identity, and it is the duty of a democratic nation like Australia to ensure and protect these interests in harmony with the growth and the progress of the