According to data from the 2016 Australian Population Census, almost half of all Australians are either born overseas or have parents that are born overseas. This indicates that a considerable number of Australian residents have migrated from various countries in the world and carry different nationalities. Australia is indeed a multicultural country.
In Tasmania alone, the municipal with the largest number of immigrants—or in other words, the most multicultural city—is Glenorchy. According to last year’s census data, one in eight residents are born overseas, with 8.7 % of the population coming from non-English speaking nations.
In response to demand, the Multicultural Council of Tasmania (MCoT) applied for permission from the Tasmanian State Government to change the former Moonah Arts Centre into a multi-purpose community hub, dedicated to the multicultural community. With the efforts of MCoT staff and strong support from the state and local government, the hub was opened on 25 November at a grand ceremony.
The proceedings kicked off with a Welcome to Country by a respected Aboriginal Elder, followed by ribbon cutting by The Hon. Will Hodgman MP, Premier of Australia to official open the hub. In attendance to witness this milestone were Greens leader, the Hon. Cassy O’Connor; Greens MP, Nick McKim; Minister for Justice, Corrections, Environment and Parks, and Arts, The Hon. Elise Archer MP; and representative of the Labor Party, Madeleine Ogilvie MP.
The Tasmanian Government has supported this venture by providing $200,000 over four years to help the operation of the multicultural hub. Undoubtedly, the hub will be used extensively by the community, with multicultural associations encouraged to apply and book the hub for their multicultural or faith-based activities or events.
Tasmanian Chinese Buddhist Academy of Australia, under the leadership of Master Wang, has been a strong supporter of multiculturalism in Australia. Although Master Wang was in Sydney and therefore unable to attend personally, four Elder Gurus and Reincarnated Beings represented the Academy and attended the event in support of its opening.