MEDIA RELEASE

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE
AUSTRALIA

D77

22 October 1998

Exhibition Highlights Australia's Cultural Diversity

A major exhibition commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to highlight Australia's culturally diverse society was launched in Sydney today by the Prime Minister, the Hon John Howard, MP.

The exhibition "Richness in Diversity: People of Australia", which was developed by the Australian Museum on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is to undertake a tour of the region in 1998-99.

The exhibition's tour will start in the Philippines in November 1998 where it will go on display as part of a major festival Australia is holding there to mark the centenary of Philippines independence. The festival, All the Best -from Australia, is designed to promote the best Australia has to offer in business, science, technology, education, culture and sport and to encourage bilateral trade and investment. The exhibition will then travel to Indonesia and Korea. Later visits to Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong (China) are also planned.

The exhibition projects Australia as a tolerant, culturally diverse nation and highlights the contribution which Australians from different backgrounds have made to the social and economic development of Australia. Although the exhibition features many of Australia's major migrant communities, its primary focus is on people who have migrated from the various countries where the exhibition is to tour, and on indigenous Australians.

Major elements of the exhibition include a video highlighting the cultural diversity of everyday Australia; an interactive containing demographic material about migrant and indigenous communities; a section on individuals from diverse backgrounds who have made a major contribution to Australian life; a video demonstrating the cultural diversity of Australian educational institutions, including interviews with overseas students; a section on Australia's diverse ethnic and indigenous media, including a video from the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA); an interactive showcasing trade success stories, including companies using people from different ethnic backgrounds to access international markets; art by people of different cultural backgrounds; and material about Government and private sector initiatives relating to cultural diversity.

The exhibition was commissioned by the Overseas Promotion and Olympics Branch of the Department under its charter of projecting abroad a contemporary image of Australia and enhancing international awareness and understanding of Australia in support of key foreign and trade interests. It is one of four major exhibitions which are to be toured by the Department as part of its ongoing program of promotional and public affairs activities. The themes of the others are: Australian scientific and technological achievements; Aboriginal communities and the mining industry; and Australia's sports lifestyle, products and services in the lead-up to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Media Inquiries:

Tony Melville/Kirk Coningham (02) 6261 1555