PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 4889


Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 10/11/1978

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 4889

F78/ 235
The Italian Community is a very significant and much
respected part of the Australian community. It was not
always so significant. At Federation, about 95% of
immigrant Australians were of British descent only some
5,000 people out of 3.7 million were of Italian descent.
That's about 1/ 8th of one pericent of the population!
Australia today, with our very large and important Italian
community, is far richer in diversity. Our customs, our
traditions, our lifestyles have benefitted enormously from
your influence.
I know you are proud to be Australians, and equally proud
of your own distinctive and rich culture. It needs to be
said that Australian society is not weakened, it is strengthened
by diversity. One can love Australia, and participate-fully
in Australian life and at the same time preserve one's
cultural heritage.
I am particularly pleased to see Frank Galbally here tonight.
As many of you would know, he has been three times decorated
by the Italian Government for his services to the Italian
community in Australia. He recently chaired a review of the
services available to migrants upon their arrival in Australia.
His review recommended a new deal for migrants and the
Government, even in -these times of economic restraint, decided
to adopt his recommendations.
We are setting up sixteen centres which will give English
orientation courses for new migrants; we are spending an additional
million teaching English to migrant children; we are stepping
up English classes for adult migrants; we are extending the
Government's telephone interpreter service; we are going to
establish a new Institute of multi-Cultural Affairs; and more
funds are to be given to ethnic associations to employ their
own welfare workers, health workers and people skilled in
assisting children and the aged. / 2

This last initiative will be of direct benefit to many of
the 40 Italian clubs represented here tonight. The Italian
Community is noted for the strength of its community
organisations. You have established a network of institutions
sustaining your community, and I applaud your desire to be
self-supporting, without undue reliance on government.
For all these expenditures and programmes to be truly effective,
the Government believes it is of crucial importance that ethnic
communities themselves be closely involved in their implementation.
Those senior officials who have been given the task of
co-ordinating the new programmes are at the present time
actively consulting a variety of ethnic and voluntary agencies.
Australia has long offered to people of all nations freedom
of opportunity to achieve and create, freedom to rise to the
top of their professions and occupations. Over the last three
years, the Government has been striving to restore Australia's
capacities to offer people such freedom of opportunity. We have
been striving to restore the economy, to give people renewed
incentive and fair reward for achievement.
This has been a difficult period we have faced tough decisions
and we have made them.
Australia is now on the threshold of a new era of growth and
prosperity. We can realise the promise which the next decade
holds for us if, through a partnership of Government and
people, we can work effectively together, having confidence in
our capacity and faith in Australia's future.

Transcript 4889