Lecture focuses on multiculturalism

Published 11 November 2008

Social inclusion and the future of multiculturalism will be the focus of a free public lecture by Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian, chair of the NSW Community Relations Commission (CRC).

The lecture is being hosted by Southern Cross University's Centre for Peace and Social Justice and will be held on Thursday, November 13 at the Lismore campus.

The NSW Community Relations Commission is the key advisory group to government on multicultural issues. It aims to promote community harmony, participation and access to services by all culturally diverse groups.

The Commission is holding its monthly meeting at the Lismore council chambers and will attend a civic reception at the Lismore City Council on Thursday evening. Members of the Commission will also be visiting New Italy and the Lismore Living Library.

Dr Kerkyasharian was born in Cyprus, of Armenian background, and migrated to Australia in 1967. His parents were survivors of the Armenian genocide that occurred during World War I. In addition to his current position with the CRC, he is president of the Anti Discrimination Board. Stepan has been head of SBS Radio, and was a member of the team which launched SBS Television. In 2007, Dr Kerkyasharian was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters for his distinguished contribution to the advancement and understanding of cultural diversity of Australia.

Dr Rob Garbutt, from Southern Cross University’s Centre for Peace and Social Justice, said the public lecture would provide an overview of community relations in NSW, with a focus on social inclusion and the future of multiculturalism.

“Following the lecture, members of the public are invited to join us for afternoon tea. This is an excellent opportunity to meet with leaders and policy makers on multicultural issues,” Dr Garbutt said.

The free lecture, ‘Towards an inclusive community: Community relations and multiculturalism in NSW’, will be held on Thursday, November 13, from 2pm to 3pm, in B231. Afternoon tea will be held from 3pm to 4pm in the Fr. Tony Glynn Japan - Australia Centre, Lismore campus. For afternoon tea please RSVP to Dr Garbutt on 6620 3790 or email rob.garbutt@scu.edu.au

Photo: Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian, chair of the NSW Community Relations Commission, will give a free public lecture on Thursday.

Media contact: Brigid Veale Southern Cross University communications manager, 02 66593006 or 0439 680 748.