Council asked to support Indigenous multicultural celebration

Yarra Ranges Council was asked to support a celebration of Multicultural Day at a council meeting on 7 November. Picture: ON FILE.

By Parker McKenzie

Yarra Ranges Council has been asked to support a celebration of Multicultural Day by members of the Indigenous Australian community.

Daniel Kiag, joining a council meeting on 7 December remotely from Darwin, asked Yarra Ranges Council to partner and collaborate with Kulin Multicultural for a 20th-anniversary celebration of Multicultural Day on 8 November 2022.

“A lot of the work over 30 years in unity and reconciliation has gone into this submission, it doesn’t give it justice, fairness, or harmony by calling it multiculturalism in the Yarra Ranges Shire,” Mr Kiag said.

“Next year is the 20th anniversary of Multicultural Day, and I had a discussion with people in our organisation, an elders council, authors and owners of multicultural sustainability and we want to have a celebration.”

“On Multicultural Day we are going to celebrate country and celebrate the sovereignty and identity of Kulin law.”

Mr Kiag said there is five levels of governance, education and ownership in Kulin multicultural.

“Our right way governance includes the Queen’s council, alderman and shires, but it also inclusive of what is 100 thousand years that is pre-existing to it,” Mr Kiag said.

“The authority and governance of holistic sustainability, which you guys celebrate economic sustainability through your Commonwealth governance, we are now wanting to celebrate inclusion.”

A presentation was made at the Indigenous Cultural Heritage conference on 29 October outlining the plans for the celebration.

Cr Fiona McAllister said what is being asked was an important question and the council should take it to the Indigenous advisory committee.

“Cr Johanna Skelton is our representative on that, and we should seek their advice and position on it and go from there,” she said.

“We can do that fairly quickly and get a response because we tend to use them as our source of truth and advice on these issues.”

Mr Kiag responded that multiculturalism is for everyone.

“We don’t differentiate or segregate or discriminate between different cultures, religions or identities,” he said.

“This goes beyond a Commonwealth divide of Indigenous and non-Indigenous because multicultural means we all come from a place that has a connection to Indigenous all around the world.”

Mayor Cr Jim Child said he wholeheartedly agreed with Cr McAllister’s comments.

“We will definitely refer that through our deputy mayor who is the chair of the Indigenous advisory committee,” he said.

“We believe that is the appropriate place to make that decision and we will make sure all that documentation you sent forward to us is supplied to the committee.”