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Why Morrison's preferred M-word is migrant rather than multicultural

2 0 1
18.01.2019

Not everyone is a fan of multiculturalism. That includes the current Prime Minister.
At least, that’s one conclusion you can draw from his aversion to the word.
This week, Scott Morrison announced that local councils would be compelled to hold
citizenship ceremonies on January 26. Australia Day should be reserved for
conferring citizenship to migrants, given that “Australia is the most successful
migrant country on earth”.

Scott Morrison avoids the word multiculturalism, but there are many ways for an immigrant to identify as an Australian.Credit:AAP

It’s a fine sentiment in one respect. While there is disagreement about whether January 26 is the right date for Australia Day, few would dispute the nation’s historic success with immigration.

But Morrison’s favoured choice of words – his distancing from multiculturalism –
represents a departure from predecessor Malcolm Turnbull. As PM, Turnbull was fond of describing us as “the most successful multicultural society in the world”. He spoke often about the value of “mutual respect”.

This isn’t about splitting hairs. As I’ll explain, there’s an important difference between saying we’re a migrant country and saying that we’re also a multicultural society.

It’s not surprising that Morrison is no multicultural enthusiast. He represents an
electorate in the Sutherland Shire, not known for being a beacon of diversity. Back in 2011, the........

© Brisbane Times