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Subject: Cultural Studies »


Access and Equity

Vasiliki Nihas.

Vasiliki Nihas talks about the changes in multiculturalism.



Date Added:

27 June 2002


Making Multicultural Australia


mov (Quicktime);

File size:



22 secs


Consultant to government agencies (multicultural and access and equity policies) and former head, Access and Equity branch, Office of Multicultural Affairs

The codification has changed, as has the understanding of multiculturalism, with more emphasis going from the cultural elements of it - the ďlive and let liveĒ component - to one which says: "Hey wait a minute, itís not just about living and let living, itís about access to resources". And more than access to resources, it's about a share of resources.


If you look at where we are now, what I am hearing from politicians currently is, the "fair go" is there. But it seems that the fair share is being less and less thought about, and less and less considered. And that, I think, is a real concern, because itís almost like we are going to have to go back and refight that battle that we fought in the early eighties all over again...
I think the measure of success of multiculturalism in Australian society is that we do have the tensions that we are having at the moment about resources. I think that when people become loud enough to advocate for their needs, then the society starts becoming tense. Itís fine as long as we are all living together, happy like little vegemites, but it stops being fine the minute that people look like they could be threatening job security, financial security of others who are in some intangible way seen as being the legitimate heirs to Australian resources and its future.

Interview for Making Multicultural Australia, 1996.