Why We Do What We Do
Welcoming Australia’s governing document states that the objects of the organisation are to provide benevolent relief to people in need by:
Supporting exploited, marginalised and minority peoples in Australia
Promoting diversity, multiculturalism, interculturalism, and social cohesion
Meeting the practical, emotional and social needs of migrants including people seeking asylum, refugees and other new Australians
Cultivating a culture of welcome in Australian communities, public discourse, political debate and legislation
These objects inform and underpin our work and are the reason that we develop and lead initiatives such as the Welcoming Centre, Welcoming Cities, and Welcoming Clubs.
Our position and communication in relation to human rights, the rights of Indigenous peoples, the rights of Refugees and displaced peoples, workers rights, and children’s rights are not politically motivated or aligned. Rather, they are fundamental to our vision of a welcoming and inclusive Australia and why we exist.
Our Challenge and Opportunity
The benefits of migration, cultural diversity and social cohesion are not being enjoyed by all.
- First Nations across Australia represent more than 250 language groups and the oldest continuous culture, yet they struggle for recognition and treaty.
- The majority of Australians have a migrant story, yet there are growing tensions and cultural divides.
- Population and economic distribution is polarised, with communities experiencing either rapid growth, or stagnation and decline.
- Growing polarisation, reinforced stereotypes and working in silos (as opposed to intersectional approaches) is failing to address the complexity of social, cultural, economic and ecological issues.
- Many institutions, communities and individuals lack the knowledge and resources to cultivate a culture of welcome.
- Migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum often require additional support to participate effectively in social, cultural, economic and civic life.
A welcoming Australia where all people can belong, contribute and thrive
Cultivating a culture of welcome
- Support and develop pathways for refugee families, people seeking asylum, and recently arrived migrants to access essential services and to build community connections
- Migration and social cohesion (including regional population and economic growth)
- Sports inclusion for recently arrived migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum (inc. young people living with a disability)
- Advancing a welcoming and inclusive narrative in public discourse
Change the Conversation
Create opportunities to influence the media and political discourse with a positive voice that celebrates diversity, humanises the debate and amplifies diverse and inclusive voices.
Create pathways for receiving and migrant communities to engage in welcoming and inclusion and participate in social, cultural, economic and civic life.
Facilitate access to evidence-based research, resources, policies and case studies.
Grow multi-sector partnerships to maximise learning, reach and impact.
Showcase stories and activities that transform narratives and advance welcoming and inclusion efforts.
Set the Standard
Establish the benchmarks and standards for welcoming and inclusion policy and practice.
Our positive approach contributes warmth and respect to a polarised public debate. We refuse to engage in divisive politics and a left-right binary. We call for genuine unity, appealing to the fair and compassionate nature of Australians. We encourage and call out the best in who we are and can be.
We strive to change hearts and minds, rather than win arguments. By creating and encouraging personal encounters between Australians and newcomers, we foster human connections that shape our community into one where we are all equally valued. We avoid duplication and working in silos. Instead, we pursue a coordinated whole-of-community approach.
We understand that to create a safe space for sharing and connection we must first be trusted. Openness and generosity are at the heart of all we do. Our purpose and intentions are clear, and our actions align with our values. We take the responsibilities of our role seriously and always strive to deliver on our word.
We facilitate cultural change at all levels of society by shifting Australians’ views on migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum. We drive, motivate and encourage action, as we are determined to be an authentic force for good in the world.
The Change We Seek
A growing movement of Australians are mobilised to cultivate a culture of welcome.
- Policy and public discourse is characterised by welcoming and inclusive language
- Leaders champion diversity and model a welcoming Australia
- Diverse voices are amplified in all sections of society including media, civil society, government and business
Institutions and agencies have comprehensive plans and active messaging for welcoming and inclusion in policy, community engagement and economic development approaches.
- Welcoming and inclusion is prioritised in policy and practice.
- Governments, sporting and cultural bodies, businesses, and community agencies have an articulatedcase, networks and resources that facilitate effective planning for migration, settlement, cultural diversity and inclusion.
- Locally-led, whole-of-community approaches and strategies achieve better outcomes in social cohesion, cultural expression, economic engagement and civic participation.
Receiving communities are welcoming and inclusive and migrant communities have a sense of value and belonging.
- Receiving communities have supported opportunities to actively welcome and engage migrant communities.
- Migrant communities have equitable access to community services and assets.
- Social networks share positive stories and examples of welcoming and inclusion.
People have a sense of belonging and participate in social, cultural, economic and civic life.
- Leaders and influencers from both receiving and migrant communities value welcoming and inclusion and are supported to make change.
- Individuals from both receiving and migrant communities recognise their role in welcoming and inclusion and access opportunities to actively participate in community life.