Support for multicultural communities in Rockhampton and Mount Isa is set to increase as part of a more than $6.3m funding package across the state over the next three years.

Multicultural Affairs Minister Shannon Fentiman today announced additional funding for central and north-west Queensland under a renewed and expanded Community Action for a Multicultural Society (CAMS) program.

“I am delighted to announce that this government is not only continuing the CAMS program which was threatened with closure, but expanding it,” she said.

“This program’s future is now secure so that it can renew its focus to address and meet the needs of multicultural communities today.”

Funding will also be provided under the expanded CAMS program to support Muslim women across Queensland, in view of the prevalence of reported incidents of racial and religious vilification experienced by this community.

“Our government will ensure that Queensland is a place where everyone can thrive and where there is a strong sense of belonging and welcome for people of all cultural backgrounds and faiths,” Ms Fentiman said.

CAMS is a partnership between the State Government and community organisations to promote and strengthen multiculturalism. The additional funding will allow for three extra workers to be employed under the program, taking the total number of workers to 22.

The program aims to help achieve:

  • equitable access for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to services and programs that respond to their needs, and
  • equitable participation by people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in community life —  including educational, economic, political, social and cultural activities.

 Ms Fentiman said that the program was held in high regard by the multicultural sector.

 “It is valued for the ways in which it builds connected communities, removes barriers to participation and makes a positive difference to people’s lives,” she said.

 “But we are also working in other ways to unite Queenslanders.

 “The government’s election commitment to introduce multicultural recognition legislation promoting Queensland as a united, harmonious and inclusive community is also an important part of this.”