South Australian Multicultural Bill 2021 passes through both Houses of Parliament

On 14 October 2021, exactly one year after its introduction to Parliament, the landmark South Australian Multicultural Bill 2021 passed both Houses of Parliament.

The Bill was developed following the 2019 review of the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission Act 1980, and it will soon replace the Act.

How your feedback shaped this new legislation

The South Australian Multicultural Bill 2021 reflects feedback received during the 2019 consultation process, which strongly supported the need to bring South Australia’s multicultural legislation into the 21st century.

The rich and diverse feedback we received in the review community forums, stakeholder workshops, written submissions and in the online survey conducted via YourSAy was instrumental in shaping the new legislation.

In line with your feedback, the Bill:

  • updates the language to reflect contemporary terms with the main changes being the removal of the term ‘ethnic’ and introduction of the concept of interculturalism. Interculturalism expands our thinking on multiculturalism, moving beyond tolerance of different cultures to a deep understanding and respect for different cultures
  • acknowledges Aboriginal peoples as South Australia's first peoples and nations, and the traditional owners and occupants of land and waters in South Australia
  • requires the development of a new South Australian Multicultural Charter for all South Australians, that is based on a set of multicultural principles
  • provides for the Minister to develop the Charter in consultation with the Minister for Aboriginal Engagement and the South Australian Multicultural Commission.
  • requires the South Australian Multicultural Commission to be appointed through a public expression of interest process.
  • provides for half of the Commission members to be women
  • requires representation on the Commission to include at least one person living in regional South Australia at their time of appointment and at least one person to be aged under 25.

Under a transitional provision in the Bill, the current members of the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission will transfer to the South Australian Multicultural Commission when the new legislation is enacted.

The development of the Charter will be led by the new South Australian Multicultural Commission, which will conduct community consultation as a vital part of the Charter development process.

For more information about the new legislation, see Multicultural Legislative Review.

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