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Canterbury Bankstown Children's Festival

Ladies and gentlemen.

It’s a great pleasure to be here in Revesby celebrating the Children’s Festival once again.

For the past 23 years, the Children’s Festival has been a feature of our communities across Sydney.

And the great thing about this festival is that it brings so many communities together in harmony, where everyone taking part shows pride in their cultural heritage.

Thousands of volunteers work very hard to make this happen. So I want to thank everyone who has sewn costumes, built props and given their time to practise for this wonderful day.

Volunteering is the backbone of our communities – and it’s great to see this in action here, with all these amazing costumes from more than 30 cultural groups. The memories formed by the Children’s Festival last a lifetime. And so does its central message – of living in harmony.

As Minister for Multiculturalism, I’m privileged to meet many different communities across our great state.

What they all have in common is that they all want to give back.

People come here because they value the hope and opportunity that Australia offers us all.

Families came here to set up a better life for themselves and their children, and for future generations.

I’m proud of how grassroots community groups are showing the world how we care for our fellow residents in challenging times.

The NSW Government is proud to support this amazing festival with substantial funding.

Because we recognise how important the Children’s Festival Organisation is in bringing thousands of families together to celebrate our cultural pride and diversity.

Events such as this also allow us to enjoy the world’s wonderful array of customs and traditions.

Before I conclude, I’d like to say a few words about our State’s cultural diversity, and the NSW Government’s support for this. We are home to people from more than 300 cultures and ancestries, who speak 275 different languages and dialects and follow 144 different religious traditions.

In June this year, the NSW Government announced a record $28 million investment in Multicultural NSW over two years to increase engagement with multicultural communities and support whole-of-government language services. This ensures that essential government information can reach everyone.

Multicultural NSW is also funding scholarships to train new interpreters in emerging community languages and ensuring we train younger generations of interpreters.

We are working across the whole of government to ensure that communities have their say, so we can provide programs that reach the people they are meant to help.

And we’re proud to support today’s Children’s Festival – thank you all for making this wonderful day very special.