After the peaks of violence and alcohol-related injuries during past Australia Day events, the QLD Government is reminding people to remember diversity this year.

Queensland Minister for Multicultural Affairs Glen Elmes has urged people to take time this Australia Day to consider what it means to be an Australian in the 21st Century.

Mr Elmes said a typical Queenslander is no longer of British heritage, but a combination of the more than 200 cultures which make up modern Queensland.

“Cultural diversity has made a tremendous contribution to shaping the Australia of today, and we are more prosperous and productive as a society because of it,” Mr Elmes said.

“Difference is everywhere in our society, and none of us should be threatened by it.

“A culturally diverse community is a vibrant community, and one which is open to new ideas, tastes and customs.”

Mr Elmes has encouraged people to celebrate all that’s good about Australian culture during this year’s Australia Day long weekend, but to do it responsibly.

“There are plenty of things about being Australian to celebrate, but loutish behaviour isn’t one of them,” he said.

“One of the core Australian values is respect for others.

“I encourage everyone to get together with family and friends next weekend, enjoy a picnic or barbecue, a few drinks and some park or beach sports, but don’t make your bad behaviour the thing others remember about you.”

Mr Elmes said the Australia Day long weekend is also the time when many migrants take the step of becoming Australian citizens.

“Australia is a friendly country, which welcomes people to share the wonderful bounty we have as an open and democratic society,” Mr Elmes said.

“Migrants have made a positive and significant contribution to our economic, cultural and social development, and I welcome their continued contribution to building a better Queensland.”

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