Legislation - Multicultural Issues
Victoria has several pieces of legislation that supports and protects our unique multicultural society.
Multicultural Victoria Act 2004
The Multicultural Victoria Act 2004 came into effect on 1 January 2005. The Act consolidates and expands on existing policy and legislative frameworks by enshrining important principles of multiculturalism and creating multicultural reporting requirements for government departments.
To view or print a copy of the Multicultural Victoria Act 2008, please click (PDF)
Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001
The Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 was passed by the Victorian Parliament on 14 June 2001 and came into effect on 1 January 2002. In June 2006, the Act was amended following consultation with the multi-faith community.
The Racial and Religious Tolerance Act prohibits racial and religious vilification.
Vilification is public behaviour that incites hatred against, serious contempt for, or revulsion or severe ridicule of another person or group of people because of their race or religion. The Act sets a high standard for determining vilification, and it is only in extreme and serious cases that vilification will be found to have occurred.
The Act provides a community standard about our responsibility towards each other in a multicultural society. It seeks to ensure that people are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their particular race or religion, and do not become targets of vilifying behaviour.
To view or print a copy of the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act, please click (PDF)
Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities (the Charter) Act 2006 was passed in July 2006 and became fully operational on 1 January 2008. The Charter enshrines civil and political rights, and some cultural rights into Victorian law. Victoria is the first Australian state to enact formal protection of human rights by introducing a Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. The charter will ensure human rights are valued and protected within government and the community.
Human rights are essential in a democratic and inclusive society that respects the rule of law, human dignity, equality and freedom.
To view or print a copy of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, please click (PDF)
The Multicultural Victoria Act 2004 requires all Victorian Government departments to report annually on their achievements and initiatives in multicultural affairs, including their use of language services, multicultural communications and multicultural representation on government boards and committees.
It is a requirement under the recently enacted Multicultural Victoria Act 2004 that all Victorian Government departments report annually on multicultural achievements and initiatives.
The Act requires each Department to report annually on:
• the use of language services
• communications in languages other than English
• any major improvements made or initiatives developed that promote multiculturalism in Victoria and meet the identified needs of Victoria's culturally and linguistically diverse communities
• the extent to which people from different cultural and linguistically backgrounds were represented on boards and committees
The Act also requires the Victorian Multicultural Commission to consult with the community on the content of each report. Feedback from these consultations informs departments' future planning for multicultural service delivery.