Wednesday, 08 September 2021
Media release

Ministerial forum on Multicultural Affairs – Communique

​Multicultural Affairs Ministers across Australia met on Monday 6 September 2021 to discuss Commonwealth, State and Territory support for the resettlement of Afghan nationals in response to events in Afghanistan and cooperation to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Hon Alex Hawke MP, chaired the Forum, which was attended by Ministers or their representatives, from each State and Territory.

Minister Hawke updated his State and Territory colleagues on the situation in Afghanistan and the work by the Commonwealth to repatriate Australian citizens, permanent residents and vulnerable Afghan nationals, particularly women and children, and locally engaged employees that supported Australia’s military and diplomatic deployment. 

Minister Hawke also invited Mr Paris Aristotle AO, Co-Chair of the Advisory Panel on Australia’s Resettlement of Afghan Nationals, to brief the Forum on the Panel’s work supporting Afghan evacuees as they settle in Australia.

Multicultural Affairs Ministers discussed the importance of culturally appropriate and coordinated service delivery in supporting the settlement of Afghan nationals as well as impacted Afghan Australian communities. Ministers discussed access to legal advice, mental health services and timely visa processes. Ministers committed to work together in partnership, noting the strong desire of the Australian community to support the successful settlement of people newly arrived from Afghanistan.

Noting the importance of ongoing efforts to support a successful COVID-19 vaccine rollout throughout Australia, Ministers discussed the importance of providing ongoing support for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

Ministers agreed to:

  • work together at this distressing time for so many people, particularly Afghan Australians, to support coordinated and effective settlement arrangements for the Afghan intake;
  • work in partnership with Afghan community leaders in Australia, and leading refugee advocates and service providers, to welcome people from Afghanistan to Australia and maximise their sense of belonging, mental health and wellbeing and broader settlement outcomes;
  • continue cooperation in relation to the safe, effective and culturally appropriate delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to CALD communities; and
  • continue cooperation to counter COVID-19 related misinformation and distribute accurate, authorised and targeted health information to CALD communities, in English and in community languages, including in accessible audio and visual formats.




The Hon Alex Hawke MP

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs

Tara Cheyne MLA

Australian Capital Territory

Minister for the Arts

Minister for Business and Better Regulation

Minister for Human Rights

Minister for Multicultural Affairs

Assistant Minister for Economic Development

The Hon Natalie Ward MLC

New South Wales

Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans

The Hon Kate Worden MLA

Northern Territory

Minister for Territory Families and Urban Housing

Minister for Disabilities

Minister for Sport

Minister for Multicultural Affairs

The Hon Leanne Linard MP


Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs

The Hon Jing Lee MLC

South Australia

Assistant Minister to the Premier

The Hon Ros Spence MP


Minister for Multicultural Affairs

Minister for Community Sport

Minister for Youth

The Hon Dr Tony Buti MLA

Western Australia

Minister for Finance; Lands; Sport and Recreation; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests

*The Hon Jeremy Rockliff MP, Tasmanian Deputy Premier and Minister for Community Services and Development, was unable to attend due to Parliamentary commitments.