Adelaide is set to join a national network of local councils committed to fostering social cohesion, signing on as the first Australian capital city in the Welcoming Cities network.
The move will be formalised by The Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Martin Haese at the Opening Reception of the third annual national Welcoming Cities Symposium in Adelaide on Thursday night.
The Symposium will continue through Friday, bringing together international migration experts and local councils from across Australia to share and discuss best practice approaches for addressing key social cohesion challenges and opportunities at a local level.
Mr Haese said migration has played an important role in Adelaide’s history.
“Adelaide prides itself on being a multicultural city, and in joining the Welcoming Cities network, we’re formalising our commitment to working with local businesses and community leaders to foster inclusiveness in our city at every level,” Mr Haese said.
“Migrants’ knowledge, connections, skills and understanding of different cultures are a genuine asset to our city, particularly as we look towards building our international connections and encouraging investment in Adelaide and South Australia.
“We need to be doing everything we can as a community to make sure our new arrivals are given every opportunity to thrive and succeed in our city,” he said.
As part of the symposium, Welcoming Cities will launch the Australian Standard for Welcoming Cities – the first accreditation framework in cultural diversity and inclusion practices for Australian local councils.
Welcoming Cities National Manager, Aleem Ali, said the Standard – developed with Deloitte Australia, and in consultation with local government leaders, nationally – will have a significant impact on the development of social cohesion in Australia.
“The Standard provides a clear framework that will enable councils to benchmark their current policies and programs to maximise social cohesion and economic participation.
“It will help councils to identify areas where they could be doing more to create communities where everyone can belong, and allow councils to assess their progress over time,” he said.
Speakers at the Welcoming Cities Symposium on Friday include Mohamud Noor, Executive Director of the Confederation of Somali Community (Minnesota, USA); Charlie Foran, CEO of Institute for Canadian Citizenship (Canada); Mark Glazbrook, Managing Director of Migration Solutions; and Jodie van Deventer, CEO of Committee for Adelaide.