Australian democracy guarantees us our civic freedoms and our fundamental rights and equality, and it is the institutions of Australian democracy that enable diversity in our society to flourish. .
The democratic foundations of our society contain a balance of rights and responsibilities. Within this broad framework, each individual and group is welcome to make a contribution to the common good.
The term Australian Multiculturalism summarises the way we address the challenges and opportunities of our cultural diversity.
The key statement of Government multicultural policy is Multicultural Australia: United in Diversity (May 2003). It updates the 1999 New Agenda for Multicultural Australia, reaffirms its fundamental principles and sets strategic directions for multicultural policy for 2003-2006 with a specific emphasis on community harmonyAustralian multiculturalism is the philosophy, underlying Government policy and programs, that recognises, accepts, respects and celebrates our cultural diversity. It embraces the heritage of Indigenous Australians, early European settlement, our Australian-grown customs and those of the diverse range of migrants now coming to this country.
The freedom of all Australians to express and share their cultural values is dependent on their abiding by mutual civic obligations. All Australians are expected to have an overriding loyalty to Australia and its people, and to respect the basic structures and principles underwriting our democratic society. These are the Constitution, Parliamentary democracy, freedom of speech and religion, English as the national language, the rule of law, acceptance and equality.
The Government's aim is to build on our success as a culturally diverse, accepting and open society, united through a shared future, and a commitment to our nation, its democratic institutions and values, and the rule of law. This vision is reflected in the four principles that underpin multicultural policy:.