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ADI Public Policy Forum: A “Failed Space of Multiculturalism”?

Event Name

ADI Public Policy Forum: A “Failed Space of Multiculturalism"?

Event Price

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Event Date

14 March 2023

Register By Date

13 March 2023


Deakin Downtown, 727 Collins Street, Tower 2, Level 12, Melbourne, VIC 3008


This ADI Policy Forum looks at a recent study by British colleagues at the University of Huddersfield that critiques the ways in which the geographical clustering of ethnic communities in England’s northwest amidst various kinds of social and policy tensions has been used to drive narratives of multiculturalism’s supposed ‘failure’ in Great Britain. A key element in these narratives has been the upswing in racialised White resentment of ethnic minorities, manifested in part by heightened activism in the region by British far-right movements.

Following a presentation by Professor Paul Thomas, one of the study’s co-authors, the panel discussion will explore the issues raised by Prof. Thomas in comparative perspective.

Australia’s Cronulla riots and Bendigo Mosque protests, decades of anti-immigration discourse from both fringe and mainstream political quarters, a notable recent rise in Australian far-right extremist movements and mobilisation, and the differential treatment of ethnically clustered communities during COVID lockdowns arguably point to similar issues and tensions.

Yet multiculturalism remains a robust policy framework in Australia, class-based distinctions do not dominate public discourse despite growing socio-economic inequalities, and evidence for multicultural acceptance, evidenced by repeated Scanlon Survey findings, remains strong. What are the differences between the UK and Australia in this context, and what can we learn from each other’s public policy approaches and the lived experience of ethnically diverse communities?

Zoom registration for online viewing: This Eventbrite registration is for in-person attendance at Deakin Downtown in Melbourne. If you wish to tune in via Zoom webinar, please register here.

We welcome you to join us at 5.30 pm for refreshments prior to the forum commencing at 6:00 pm.