Cairns has joined the Welcoming Cities program, a growing network of more than 50 Australian councils committed to building a sense of belonging for all its citizens – new and old.
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said registering as a Welcoming City would enable Council to benchmark cultural diversity and inclusion policies, programs and initiatives, identify future improvements required and assess progress over time.
“One of the duties I enjoy most as Mayor is being able to welcome our city’s newest residents at the regular citizenship ceremonies. People are so pleased and proud and happy to become new citizens,” said Cr Manning.
“We have a very diverse and multicultural community in Cairns. More than one-fifth of the Cairns population was born overseas and there are 72 languages spoken here.
“By joining the Welcoming Cities program, Council has formally committed to championing the principles of inclusion in our local community,” said Cr Manning.
“The strength of a community is measured by the contribution of its members. The African Association and many other communities that are new to Cairns seek the opportunity to assist with the economic drive of the city. “Our members appreciate being here and feel welcome… and they want to be able to be employers too, not just to be employed. President of the Cairns African Association, Anna Wairimu Jones said the group represented new Cairns residents from around 20 African countries who have come to Australia through different pathways and experiences.
Quick facts about multiculturalism in the Cairns community:
21.4% of people in Cairns were born overseas
13.2% of people in Cairns speak a language other than English a home
72 languages are spoken in Cairns
The top-10 most commonly-spoken languages in Cairns are: English, Japanese, Tagalog, Australian Indigenous languages, Mandarin, Italian, German, Korean, Punjabi, and Nepali.