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Multicultural Policies and Services Program (formerly EAPS)

New South Wales is the most culturally diverse state in Australia. People from around 200 birthplaces have made the State their home; in addition close to a quarter of the population speak a language other than English at home (New South Wales 2006 Census).

This diversity is an asset, and makes our State an exciting and vibrant place to live. It also requires New South Wales government agencies to consider carefully their planning and innovation, particularly when delivering programs and services to meet the needs of such a culturally diverse society.

All New South Wales government agencies are guided by the Principles of Multiculturalism which are enshrined in State law. The Principles confirm the right of individuals in New South Wales to:

  • fully contribute and participate in the life of the state;
  • respect the culture, language and religion of others (within a legal and constitutional framework where English is the common language);
  • have access to government services;
  • have the linguistic and cultural assets in New South Wales recognised and promoted.

Leading from the principles, four broad objectives underpin the New South Wales Government's Community Relations Plan of Action 2012. These key objectives are outlined in the White Paper, called Cultural Harmony: The Next Decade 2002 - 2012, as follows:

  • leadership to encourage and value a culturally diverse society through the establishment of supportive policy, legal and planning frameworks;
  • community harmony;
  • access and equity within the framework of social justice obligations;
  • economic and cultural opportunities.

Public sector agencies make these principles and objectives part of their core business through their Multicultural Policies and Services Plan (MPSP).

And the Community Relations Commission For a multicultural NSW assesses and monitors the performance of public sector agencies, and reports on this performance in an annual Community Relations Report.