Our history is one of massive diversity and adversity and needs to be acknowledged as such

When Anthony Albanese began his acceptance speech as Prime Minister of this country with the words “I begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet. I pay my respects to their elders past, present and emerging. And on behalf of the Australian Labor Party, I commit to the Uluru Statement from the heart in full’; it was truly a coming of age for our nation. 

Regardless of whether you were cracking open the champagne or drowning your sorrows at the election result, this was an important acknowledgement that the truth of our history, be it dark and difficult, is the only way to the full realisation of our potential as Australians. Denying the truth of a complicated and challenging past simply because of its nature denies our capacity for courage and compassion – perhaps the two qualities that best define the character of any proud Australian.

And, despite (or perhaps because) people from an amazing 140 nationalities live in the West of Melbourne, courage and compassion are definitely characteristics that our diverse communities share.

Did you know that over 45%* (nearly half our population) were born overseas, with less than a third of us having both parents born here?

We are a microcosm of the World and, a shining example to the World of the richness that great diversity brings.

This edition of The Westsider celebrates what the West is great at; embracing the strength that adversity, diversity, and the resilience needed to navigate both, brings us.  Be it surviving colonialism, escaping a brutal foreign regime as a refugee or just aspiring to a better life for your children, our communities know that adversity can build courage and compassion, and that acknowledging the past for what it is, allows an even brighter future.


*ABS Census 2016

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