Close Search
 
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  |  Governance

NFP Sector Must do More to Embrace Diversity


3 March 2016 at 9:53 am
Savannah Holliday
While Not for Profits and charities work to embrace and promote diversity, the social sector must do more to bridge the gaps that marginalise minority groups, a social cohesion forum has revealed.

Savannah Holliday | 3 March 2016 at 9:53 am


0 Comments


 Print
NFP Sector Must do More to Embrace Diversity
3 March 2016 at 9:53 am

While Not for Profits and charities work to embrace and promote diversity, the social sector must do more to bridge the gaps that marginalise minority groups, a social cohesion forum has revealed.

Australian Red Cross hosted the National Practitioners’ Forum on Wednesday to discuss the issue of racism, exclusion, marginalisation and disadvantage experienced by minority groups within Australia.

The conference aimed to advance cultural, linguistic and religious diversity in Australian communities and give practitioners practical tools and advice to better address cultural inclusion.

The forum hosted panellists from different backgrounds and perspectives to highlight the role of the social sector in further embracing diversity.

CEO of Welcome to Australia, Mohammed Al-Khafaji, said that the sector was “very aware” that diversity was something that needed to be throughout the entire organisation and “being aware is the first step to being socially cohesive”.

He said that this was a major step, as it puts the sector in a good position to ensure that diversity is embraced. However, he said that this needed to be more than a token gesture.

“I think there are some organisations out there that are implementing diversity for the sake of having a brown person on board,” Al-Khafaji said.

“When talking about diversity, it is not just cultural – it’s gender diversity, it’s sexual orientation diversity.”

Dr Justine Dandy, from Edith Cowan University’s School of Psychology and Social Science, echoed this sentiment.

“We forget that our diverse community is not just migrants but extends to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders,” Dr Dandy said.

Al-Khafaji said that the sector’s main role was to facilitate and give agency to newly arrived people, as well as those from minority groups.

“Mentor them into leadership roles, not as a gesture, but because they are skilled and capable,” he said.

CEO of the Scanlon Foundation, Anthea Hancocks, provided statistics on the current level of Australia’s social cohesion through a detailed social research survey.

She said the results showed that 86 per cent of Australians believed that multiculturalism was good for Australia, and 93 per cent of respondents (from a randomly surveyed audience) felt a sense of belonging in Australia.

However, 15 per cent of people felt discrimination on a regular and frequent basis. One-quarter of Australians also believed that people should assimilate to the Australian way of life, and that newly arrived people should “speak our language”.

The survey also found that 25 per cent of Australians held negative attitudes towards Muslim people. And when surveyed online in an anonymous setting this number rose to 40 per cent.

Hancocks put forward questions asking how the social sector can look at changing these statistics.

She said that there was more that could be done and, by answering these questions, Australia would move toward greater inclusion.

“Will young people continue to remain open minded? Have we embraced multilingualism? When will Aboriginal languages begin to be taught in schools? When will we stop using terms such as refugee and low socioeconomic?” Hancocks said.


Savannah Holliday  |  @sholliday91

Savannah Holliday is a member of the Pro Bono Australia team with a background in communications.

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au or download our contributor guidelines.

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Finding the right skills to ensure good governance

Contributor

Thursday, 6th August 2020 at 7:30 am

World Vision Australia slashes staff to save humanitarian programs

Maggie Coggan

Wednesday, 5th August 2020 at 5:44 pm

Why now is an ideal time for some reporting housekeeping

Ben Fock

Tuesday, 4th August 2020 at 7:30 am

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook
×

We need your help.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Pro Bono Australia has seen a devastating fall in advertising and less people posting on our job board, which is how we fund our free news service. You can show us that you value the work we do by making a contribution.

 Make a contribution 

You have Successfully Subscribed!