Positive And Negative Ways Of Decision Makers Dealing With Sensitive Multicultural Issues.

1504 words - 6 pages

In the last century, it is well recognized that Australia in the post-war period has received an impressive diversity of immigrants from a multitude of nations. People from all over the globe have settled onto Australian shores bringing with them, their life experiences. Due to these facts, Australia is known to be a multicultural society; very diverse in ethnicity, culture, age, gender, race and class. Religion has been one important variety which immigrants have brought with them; however it has been very evident through my own findings, that religion is less widely part of research and informed discussion. As described by Bouma, G. (Mosques and Muslim Settlement in Australia, pp.iii, 1994) the role of religion in settlement, and the experiences of those professing a faith different from the majority of other members of Australian society, is relatively neglected in literature and immigration research.Bouma G. shows that nearly 1percent of the Australian population indicates Islam as their religion. As part of my report, I have chosen to focus on religion, Islam in particular, and using local examples I will discuss how decision-makers work with communities in relation to religion, and provide examples where the values of different community groups living in the same area have come into conflict.Whilst trying to gather relevant information on this topic of religion, and Islam in particular, it was very interesting to find that there was very little information or content relevant to this topic in the local councils policies or files. Although many of its planning permits regarding sensitive religious issues such as Muslims being able to access mosques at very early times during Ramadan are catered for, there is no real process in which such situations are dealt through.When asked, if there were any objections to the proposal of a mosque in a residential area, there were no such evidence of any. The local town planner, Chris Bryce, said the proposals for all types of places of worship all followed the same framework, and there were no specifics for different religions. However, as stated earlier, due to being a large Muslim community, the proposal for the mosque was pushed through.Although it is important for those involved with working with diverse communities to encourage Australians to express, share and value one another's cultural heritage, sometimes they may do more harm in doing so. One example of this is the Hume City Council mayor's decision to ban pork from being provided at public functions in an effort to ensure the area's Muslim community got more involved in council events. Although the intent of this decision was to be more inclusive it alienated the community even further.The Equal Opportunity Commission also said is had fielded calls from angry residents who claimed the move was discriminatory. Chief executive of the Equal Opportunity Commission Diane Sisely also mentioned that, 'It is not the Muslims who are calling for a ban...

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