What is multiculturalism?

Sir William Deane is a former Governor General of Australia and remains a voice of compassion in the community. He gave the following speech at the University of Western Australia on Monday night. Our country is being challenged by a conservative orthodoxy, Deane argued, and the very fabric that makes us diverse and tolerant is being threatened:

“One cannot but be conscious of a tendency in recent times to seek to discount or trivialise policies and attitudes protecting the dignity and self esteem of other human beings by dismissive or occasionally sneering reference to the pejorative and largely meaningless catchphrase of “political correctness”. Or, in some more strident sections of the media, by childish reference to things such as drinking chardonnay, or cappuccino or even latte or an undefined “chattering class” from which those who are enamoured of the phrase apparently see themselves as strangely exempt.”

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