Media Releases

Language used by Senator O’Sullivan normalises racism: FECCA

19 February 2019

Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) today expressed disappointment at the language used by Nationals Senator Barry O’Sullivan during a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra.

During the hearing, at which the proposed Biosecurity Imports Levy was being discussed, Senator O’Sullivan said “there’s a bigger chance of us having a biosecurity breach from some bloody old Chinaman that brings in his favourite sausage down the front of his undies.”

Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) today expressed disappointment at the language used by Nationals Senator Barry O’Sullivan during a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra.

During the hearing, at which the proposed Biosecurity Imports Levy was being discussed, Senator O’Sullivan said “there’s a bigger chance of us having a biosecurity breach from some bloody old Chinaman that brings in his favourite sausage down the front of his undies.”

FECCA Chairperson Ms Mary Patetsos said language that has a racial element can perpetuate racism within the community.

“Racism continues to be a part of the daily lives of many Australians from diverse backgrounds,” she said.

“Speech that has a racial element to it helps perpetuate and normalise racism, and that has a particularly damaging effect when the person using that language is a community leader.

“FECCA encourages Senator O’Sullivan, and indeed all politicians and public figures, to avoid using this type of language in the future.”

FECCA is the peak, national body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. FECCA’s role is to advocate and promote issues on behalf of its constituency to government, business and the broader community.

Contact: 0434 307 012 / mohammad@fecca.org.au

Minister confirms commitment to crucial aged care programme

15 February 2019

FECCA today welcomed Federal Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt’s backing for the continuation of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme beyond 2020.

Minister Wyatt confirmed this morning at a meeting of the National Aged Care Alliance in Canberra that he is personally committed the Programme, which helps older people stay independent and in their homes and communities for longer.

FECCA today welcomed Federal Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt’s backing for the continuation of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme beyond 2020.

Minister Wyatt confirmed this morning at a meeting of the National Aged Care Alliance in Canberra that he is personally committed the Programme, which helps older people stay independent and in their homes and communities for longer.

At the meeting, Minister Wyatt reinforced the important role of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme in providing entry level services to frail older Australians, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The Programme also provides the same entry level support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, as well as older LGTBI Australians.

The Minister’s commitment does not preclude the Federal Government from pursuing reforms of the sector which aim to simplify access to services and facilitate a more seamless transition for older Australians from the Commonwealth Home Support Programme to the Home Care Packages Program.

FECCA Chairperson Ms Mary Patetsos, who was present at the meeting, applauded Minister Wyatt for his recognition of the importance of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

“Culturally and linguistically diverse communities and specialist home support providers will be delighted with this news,” Ms Patetsos said.

“Essential cultural competencies are embedded in the aged care sector through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, and service delivery to older Australians would be negatively impacted without it.

“The loss of trusted specialist services would also compound the lack of access to services and the disadvantage experienced by culturally and linguistically diverse older Australians.”

“FECCA will continue to work closely with the Minister and the Department to ensure high quality and inclusive aged care services for older people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and their carers.”

FECCA is the peak, national body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. FECCA’s role is to advocate and promote issues on behalf of its constituency to government, business and the broader community.

Contact: 0434 307 012 / mohammad@fecca.org.au

DEEP CONCERN OVER DELAYS PROCESSING CITIZENSHIP APPLICATIONS: FECCA

12 February 2019

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) today expressed deep concern about the significant delays being experienced by migrants who are seeking to become Australian citizens.

The concern follows the release of the Auditor-General’s report titled Efficiency of the Processing of Applications for Citizenship by Conferral, which found that:

– Applications for citizenship by conferral have not been processed efficiently by the Department of Home Affairs
– Applications have not been processed in a time-efficient manner
– Processing times have increased and long delays are evident between applications being lodged and decisions being taken
– Significant periods of inactivity are evident for both complex and non-complex applications.

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) today expressed deep concern about the significant delays being experienced by migrants who are seeking to become Australian citizens.

The concern follows the release of the Auditor-General’s report titled Efficiency of the Processing of Applications for Citizenship by Conferral, which found that:

  • Applications for citizenship by conferral have not been processed efficiently by the Department of Home Affairs
  • Applications have not been processed in a time-efficient manner
  • Processing times have increased and long delays are evident between applications being lodged and decisions being taken
  • Significant periods of inactivity are evident for both complex and non-complex applications.

FECCA Chairperson Ms Mary Patetsos said these delays by the Federal Government’s Department of Home Affairs were putting a strain on migrant families.

“Unwarranted delays in the processing of citizenship applications cause significant hardship for families.

“These are migrant families already living in Australia who simply want to formalise their commitment to our great nation.

“We should not be creating unnecessary bureaucratic barriers for people wanting to pledge their allegiance and commitment to Australia.

“The granting of Australian citizenship is symbolic of acceptance into the Australian community, and the sooner we can bestow citizenship upon eligible migrants the sooner they can get on with making valuable contributions to our society.”

FECCA is the peak, national body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. FECCA’s role is to advocate and promote issues on behalf of its constituency to government, business and the broader community.

Contact: 0434 307 012 / mohammad@fecca.org.au

FECCA calls on the Australian Government to present its case in defence of Mr. Al-Arabi in Thai court

4 February 2019

FECCA calls on the Australian Government to seek leave to appear in the Thai court determining the fate of the detained Australian permanent resident and footballer Mr. Hakeem Al-Araibi.

“In appearing, the Australian Government should defend its refugee determination process, which found Mr Al-Araibi to be a genuine refugee who has now been resettled in Australia.”, said Mary Patetsos, Chairperson of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia.

FECCA calls on the Australian Government to seek leave to appear in the Thai court determining the fate of the detained Australian permanent resident and footballer Mr. Hakeem Al-Araibi.

“In appearing, the Australian Government should defend its refugee determination process, which found Mr Al-Araibi to be a genuine refugee who has now been resettled in Australia.”,  said Mary Patetsos, Chairperson of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia.

Hakeem is a permanent resident of Australia and should be afforded the full weight of Australia’s diplomatic services.

“Australia’s robust and effective refugee determination process has found Mr Al-Araibi as a genuine refugee and he should not be returned to the country from which he fled.”, Ms Patetsos stated.

“It’s time for Australia to escalate this matter to the highest of diplomatic channels and afford Hakeem the same protection as it would to other permanent residents and citizens,” Ms Patetsos said.

“It would be extremely disappointing if Hakeem was extradited without our Government doing everything possible to prevent that.”

FECCA is the peak, national body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. FECCA’s role is to advocate and promote issues on behalf of its constituency to government, business and the broader community.

Contact: 0429 203 706 / mohammad@fecca.org.au