Tim Soutphommasane boldly stakes a claim for the overwhelming success of multiculturalism in Australia. European governments are declaring multiculturalism a failure, with many conservatives in Australia hastening to agree. But is a multicultural approach to integration and diversity really as destructive as critics say? Have we been too quick to declare its demise? Offering an unflinching and informed defence of cultural diversity, Soutphommasane discusses with the University of Western Sydney’s Professor James Arvanitakis how multiculturalism is more than laksa, kebabs or souvlaki and that it doesn’t automatically spell cultural relativism, ethnic ghettos or reverse racism. In fact, multicultural Australia has been a national success story.
Presented with Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and the University of Western Sydney.
Tim Soutphommasane (Australian)
Tim Soutphommasane is a political philosopher at the University of Sydney's Institute for Democracy and Human Rights. He is a columnist with The Age and fellow at Per Capita, and sits on the board of the National Australia Day Council and the Australian Multicultural Council. He is a regular on ABC radio and television, often to offer insights into Australia’s approach to multiculturalism. His latest book is Don’t Go Back to Where You Came From and his other books include The Virtuous Citizen, Reclaiming Patriotism, and All That’s Left. soutphommasane.com.au
Dr James Arvanitakis is a senior lecturer in the Humanities at the University of Western Sydney, a research member of the University’s Institute for Cultural and Society, and a Fellow at the Centre for Policy Development. His research areas include hope, trust, political theatre, piracy and citizenship. James has worked as a human rights activist throughout the Pacific, Indonesia and Europe. He is currently working with the Whitlam Institute looking at issues confronting Australia’s democracy. jamesarvanitakis.net