Between 16–18 February, the 22nd National Multicultural Festival continued its tradition of uniting our city in a celebration of culture, cuisine, language, music and dance, with more than 280,000 people attending over three days.
The celebration of multiculturalism extends well beyond a weekend event in our national capital. Every day, Canberrans eat at one of the diverse range of restaurants ranging from Ethiopian to Peruvian, Afghani to Sri Lankan. We come out in hordes to celebrate multicultural events – whether it’s the Canberra Nara Candle Festival or the Holi Mela/Colour Food and Fun Fiesta. All throughout our Capital are dance groups, sporting organisations and social clubs that keep cultures, traditions and communities alive – Canberrans have the highest participation rate in cultural and leisure activities in the nation.
In fact, 1 in 5* Canberrans speak a language other than English at home, 1 in 4** of our population was born overseas, we house 108 diplomatic missions, and provide three bilingual schools for parents wanting children to learn their native language or be fluent in a second one.
In addition, we have a host of government programs, translation services, and support groups that not only help international residents have access to our great education and employment opportunities, but make them feel welcome and part of our inclusive CBR community.
*21.8% – Statistic taken from the ABS 2016 Census
**26.4% – Statistic taken from the ABS 2016 Census