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Cultural commitment recognised

Shepparton's efforts to build an inclusive multicultural society have been recognised at an awards ceremony in Melbourne on Tuesday.

JENNA BISHOP January 14, 2013 4:30am

Shepparton’s commitment to creating an inclusive multicultural society has been recognised at the 10th Multicultural Awards for Excellence.

Greater Shepparton City Council was awarded Victoria’s Multicultural Excellence for Local Government award at Government House on Tuesday night.

Culture and community strengthening manager Amanda Tingay said the council was extremely proud of the recognition.

‘‘The award shows great recognition of the work council has been doing in regard to cultural development and how committed we are to building a strong culturally diverse community,’’ she said.

Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell said Shepparton was one of Victoria’s most multicultural communities and said the council’s efforts to promote multiculturalism within the community was outstanding.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011 census data showed 13 per cent of Shepparton’s population was born outside of Australia.

‘‘The council’s initiatives in support of multiculturalism include the adoption of its first Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, the appointment of a cultural development officer and the establishment of multi-faith spaces in two of its offices,’’ Mrs Powell said.

Ms Tingay said the strategy showed the council’s vision for a vibrant, cohesive society which celebrates cultural diversity.

City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Jenny Houlihan said the award recognised the work council was doing to build a strong, socially cohesive community.

‘‘Encouraging acceptance can be a challenge, but thanks to such activities as Cultural Diversity Week, Harmony Day, Refugee Week, community capacity building programs and the LEAD program, we can not only celebrate our diversity, but create opportunities where our differences add value to our community socially and economically,’’ she said.

Shepparton’s Concetta Zito and Kyabram’s Giuseppe Martello received Meritorious Service to the Community Awards at the ceremony. Cobram’s Angelo Ballerini and Mario Crisafulli also received awards for outstanding voluntary contribution to Cobram’s multicultural and Italian communities.

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