country committed to fairness, equality and inclusion for all people in Australia;harmonious with the panorama of the kind of Australian Multiculturalism thefederal Multicultural Strategy endeavours to promote. Notwithstanding to thispicture, on the flipside is when using this framework to uphold a picture perfectof Australian Multiculturalism, one can only assume that lurking beneath and inthe dark is a carbon-copy (i.e. its negative) of that print; carrying with it theessential properties and equivalent guiding principles as its counterpart. Whentranslating this analogy into policymaking, a carbon-copy of this picture wouldtranslate into the paragon the federal government uses to the respond toterrorism, boarder protection and asylum seekers coming to Australia. Topreserve this picture perfect of Australian Multiculturalism, all laws in Australiamust be congruent with the principles of fair and justice; insofar that it cannotserve to convict, detain and torture an INNOCENT person and can be used as avenerable and powerful instrument for the global community to fight againstterrorism.
So going back to when Prime Minister Gillard presented her “Asylum Seekers Policy”as part of her Moving Australia Forward campaign short of a year ago at the LowyInstitute in Sydney, she pressed on and on about engaging in active discourse withthe international community on matters of asylum seekers and boarder protectionagainst the framework of international conventions on human rights; calling herpolicy: “a regional solution to an international problem.”In a similar fashion to Minister Bowen, she presented to her audience with somenoteworthy facts including that: (1) in 2009 Australia received 0.6 per cent of theworld's asylum seekers; (2) refugees referred by UNHCR makes up 8% of Australia’smigrant intake; and, (3) even if we open the gates and invite all boat arrivals into thecountry, they would only make 1.6% of all migrant intake (assuming, of course, thatrefugees referred by UNHCR do not arrive by unauthorised boats). Then, shortlyafter that she made the following statement: “The rule of law in a just society is partof what attracts so many people to Australia. It must be applied properly to thosewho seek asylum, just as it must be applied to all of us.”How true, Prime Minister Gillard! So, to put it more bluntly, if the rule of law inAustralia applied to asylum seekers, migration, boarder control and counter-terrorism is fair and just; then we can truly see Australian Multiculturalism as thekind of picture perfect our Government wants us to.
Sally D’Souza is a social commentator on issues relating to politics, arts and culture.For the record: She was the culturally and linguistic diverse (CALD) representative on the ACT Ministerial Council for Women and ACT Domestic Violence Preventative Council.Former President of the Multicultural Women’s Advocacy and the ACT representative of the National Immigrant and Refugee Women Association.