Diversity & inclusion
There are many reasons to support and celebrate a municipality’s diversity; such as increased social cohesion and sense of belonging, a stronger economy, vibrant arts and culture, and overall community wellbeing.
There are also legislative reasons in both the Local Government Act 2020 and Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights, which is why diversity and inclusion is an issue for local government.
MAV Diversity and Human Rights Policy Statement
In February 2018, the MAV Board endorsed the MAV Diversity and Human Rights Policy Statement:
The MAV has a strong and historical commitment to equality for all Victorians. This is demonstrated in the MAV’s recognition and support of diversity and human rights, as well as in sustained advocacy for vulnerable groups. This has been exemplified in our Prevention of Violence Against Women Leadership Statement and Statement of Commitment to Cultural Diversity.
Local government has obligations under Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006, which includes the rights to recognition and equality before the law, protection from degrading treatment, freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief, taking part in public life, and cultural rights. Human rights are integrated into council business, and a priority of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is to track Victoria’s progress in building a human rights culture.
MAV Statement of Commitment to Cultural Diversity
Our 2012 MAV Statement of Commitment to Cultural Diversity aimed to promote and facilitate leadership across local government and strong, whole-of-council responses to cultural diversity. For decades, Victorian councils have played an important role in celebrating and supporting communities, and fostering social cohesion.
- Encourage councils to respond to the diversity of their communities
- Support council aged care service providers to meet the needs of diverse clients
- Advocate on councils’ behalf to State and Commonwealth government on issues affecting diverse groups
- Support councils in the sharing of information within available resources
- Support partnerships and relationships between the local government and multicultural community sectors
- Support and promote the Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network (VLGMIN).
We develop and form a collective local government sector view on a range of topics related to diversity. These include:
- Review of Victorian Government Procurement of Language Services - Nov 2016 (Word – 28.3KB)
- MAV Comments on draft Victorian Multicultural Policy Statement - Jan 2016 (Word – 99.5KB)
- MAV Submission on draft Victorian Social Cohesion and Community Resilience Strategy - Sep 2015 (PDF - 357.15KB)
- Standing up to race-based discrimination (Word - 2.8MB)
Statistical data for Victorian communities
The City of Greater Dandenong have collaborated with the VLGA to provide statistical information about social, health and economic outcomes for all Victorian localities.
The Commonwealth government's Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) provides free interpreting services to councils for many services. For information contact the Language Policy Liaison team via email or phone on 1300 575 847.
Opportunities for local government
Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network
VLGMIN is a longstanding local government officers group providing opportunities to:
- showcase and share their accumulated wisdom and best-practice
- browse the existing work of other Victorian councils and potentially build partnerships
- learn from the experiences of other councils before developing their own work, and avoid reinventing the wheel.
While every municipality is different, our goals are often the same and there are commonalities among resident needs.
Victorian council staff can be kept up to date on matters relating to cultural diversity across all council areas through the VLGMIN.
Engage with us
This eNetwork keeps Victorian council staff up to date on matters relating to cultural diversity across all council areas. It includes the Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network (VLGMIN).
For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org