Prime Minister Julia Gillard today congratulated 40 Australians who have been recognised for their outstanding work in building strong and cohesive local communities…including Sydney identity, Jeremy Jones.
The 40 local champions have been independently selected as the new People of Australia ambassadors following hundreds of nominations from the public.
Australians were encouraged to nominate inspirational people who have helped to build bridges, promote inclusion and strengthen ties in their communities.
The Prime Minister and Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Kate Lundy, announced the new ambassadors in Melbourne today.
They were joined by football champion and new ambassador Harry O’Brien, who is actively involved in the Australian Football League’s own multicultural program and engaged in a variety of community projects.
The ambassador program is a key initiative of the Gillard Labor Government’s multicultural policy, The People of Australia, announced last year.
The 40 ambassadors now have a new platform to promote their good work and share their ideas and initiatives that can help inspire others.
The Gillard Government recognises good work that is happening in our communities and that good work deserves to be championed at the national level.
The new ambassadors will be able to provide advice to government and the Australian Multicultural Council if they wish.
Their contributions will help assist and strengthen the government’s multicultural policy.
The ambassadors have been recognised for the real impact they are having on the lives of many Australians – from bringing kids together through sport, to helping small business owners from diverse backgrounds get up and running.
The inaugural ambassador program speaks to the strength of our Australian communities and our capacity as a nation to welcome people and make them feel part of our community.
Jones’s citation reads:
Jeremy Jones is a fifth generation Australian who has devoted many years to promoting reconciliation, religious pluralism and facilitating the ability of Australians of all backgrounds to maximise their contributions to Australian society. The Director of the International and Community Affairs for the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, he is the Co-Chair of the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims and Jews, of the Uniting Church/Jewish Community Dialogue and the Annual Conversations between the Jewish community and Australia’s Catholic Bishops; a former Convenor of Faith Communities for Reconciliation and a Past President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. He was the 2007 Australian Human Rights Medallist and has spoken in Australia and internationally on Australian multiculturalism, religious diversity, the protection of victims of racism, Indigenous reconciliation and a number of other topics.
The 2012 ambassadors’ term commences today and ends on 30 December 2012.