January 23, 2013

Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss has encouraged all South Burnett residents to join in local celebrations on Australia Day.

“Australians have much to celebrate and be proud of on our national day. Our land, our people, diversity and culture, our freedom and democracy, and our belief in a fair go, are all distinctive features of our nation’s character, built over generations,” Mr Truss said.

“Australia Day also provides an opportunity for all Australians to celebrate the unique Australian spirit that has shone through again during the recent bush fires that have affected so many communities in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales.

“The Australian spirit of mateship and goodwill brings family, friends, neighbours and strangers together, to do as much as they can to help their fellow Aussies in need. As always, the support and generosity from the volunteer effort has been outstanding.

“Australia Day is an important occasion to look to the future, consider the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and decide how we can make the most of them.

“Our nation and our people are known for our innovation, tenacity, diligence and compassion and these characteristics help to sustain us through the difficult times. We should reflect on the privileges and benefits we have as Australians, where people from many different backgrounds are able to live in peace and share in everything our country has to offer.

“The Commonwealth of Australia was created by years of skilful negotiation and the democratic choice of the people. Our unique Australian system of Westminster democracy, our Constitution and flag, serve our country well and are important fundamentals of the Australia we all hold dear.

“Our future success cannot be taken for granted. We must continue to be vigilant and build on our past achievements to ensure that our country remains great in the future.”

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Did you know one in three Queenslanders was either born overseas or has at last one parent who was born overseas?

Queensland’s multicultural diversity continues to increase with latest figures showing a 27 per cent increase since 2006 in the number of Queensland residents born overseas.

The information is contained in the latest edition of Diversity Figures, which gives a statistical snapshot of the distribution and composition of Queensland’s increasingly diverse population.

Queensland Multicultural Affairs Minister Glen Elmes said Queensland was home to people who speak more than 220 languages, subscribe to more than 100 religious faiths and come from more than 220 countries.

“With around one third of Queensland’s population either born overseas or having at least one parent born overseas, diversity touches every part of our State no matter where we live,” he said.

The main countries-of-origin for Queenslanders born overseas are New Zealand, England, South Africa, India, the Philippines, China, Scotland, Germany, Vietnam and the United States

People born in New Zealand represented a much higher proportion of the Queensland population (4.4 per cent) than for the rest of Australia (1.7 per cent)

Of all New Zealand-born Australian residents, 39.7 per cent lived in Queensland

Of the 888,636 Queenslanders born overseas, 40 per cent have arrived since 2000

9.8 per cent of Queenslanders spoke a language other than English at home. The most common language other than English spoken at home was Mandarin, followed by Cantonese and Vietnamese (compared with Mandarin, Italian and Arabic for the rest of Australia).