Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio has restated that equality is a key value of our Toowoomba Region.
Mayor Antonio said Toowoomba Region is one of the most family-friendly and liveable cities in Australia, a tag that is reinforced by a peaceful and safe environment.
“We pride ourselves as a diverse society that is encouraging people from all different backgrounds,” Mayor Antonio said.
“Any society based on tolerance and understanding of diverse cultures is a better place to live.
“It is of utmost importance to acknowledge the remarkable contributions of our first peoples to this community. It is why, as a Region, we acknowledge the Aboriginal parties whose song lines traverse the lands we are on today and pay respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
“I support a society that recognises and respects the unique culture, rights and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“In the past week, our Region recognised the 20th Anniversary of Reconciliation Week, 20 years on from when Australia came together to walk on bridges and roads across the nation to show support for a more reconciled Australia.
“We all have a responsibility to work toward authentic and meaningful Reconciliation.
“It is up to each of us to think about how best to build stronger relationships and enhanced respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.
Mayor Antonio said that from the first peoples who came across southern Queensland to the Bunya Festivals, this Region has always been a place where languages and cultures meet”, Mayor Antonio said.
“Toowoomba Region continues to be a place where all languages and cultures meet, with people from all over the world making this their home.
“Our success as a culturally diverse and socially cohesive city is firmly grounded in our adherence to the values which underpin Australia society – freedom of speech, freedom of worship, democracy, mateship and, colloquially speaking, giving everyone a ‘fair go’.
“With 118 different cultural backgrounds speaking 100 different languages, the Toowoomba Region welcomes and embraces diversity in our Region.
“Each year Council joins with the community to celebrate our multi-culturalism as we host one of Australia’s most successful Languages and Cultural festivals and each year enjoy the colour and excitement of Harmony Day celebrations.
“Toowoomba Region is the third largest refugee settlement area in Queensland, and each year we welcome hundreds of new residents from a refugee background.
“In June 2013, our Region’s commitment to diversity gained formal recognition when we became a Refugee Welcome Zone, and we continue to progress as a model city of Peace and Harmony.
“Our Council employs a full-time position that oversees anything that deals with Multicultural society and is a constant liaison with all of our cultural communities.
“At this challenging time, when the world faces a global pandemic and social unrest, it is important to restate that our Toowoomba Region values equality.
“Our Region is committed to the principle that everyone is treated equally, regardless of their ancestry or religious denominations.”