About The Conference

The Townsville Intercultural Centre is hosting the Unity In Diversity Conference at the Queensland State Library in July 2020, bringing together the whole community to discuss, prepare and learn from each other about how to best address the issues we face as a society.

In attendance will be refugee and migrant sector agencies, government policy and decision makers, peak bodies, culturally and linguistically diverse community leaders, academics, human rights advocates and the wider community. The conference will provide a platform for an open and honest discussion about diffusing barriers and creating a new set of discourses and approaches beyond the current multicultural vision. Key conversations about inclusion, employment, identity, mental health, belonging, faith and other factors affecting communities across Australia.

Practitioners from around Australia will converge for two days to give ua all a sense of Australia’s multicultural achievements and identifying pathways to social cohesion and prosperity.

Hosted by the Townsville Intercultural Centre and drawing from their 35 years of experience as community builders, migrant and refugee service providers, and social cohension facilitators, we invite you to join us in this open conversation to address multiculturalism issues in an inclusive and collaborative platform, that we may all enhance and benefit from each others knowledge and experiences. 


The Steering Committee of the National Unity in Diversity Conference;

  • Kerrin Benson - CEO - Multicultural Development Australia

  • Galila Abdelsalam - Director - Islamic Women's Association Queensland

  • Jeremy Audas - Chairperson - Townsville Intercultural Centre 

  • Aleem Ali - CEO - Welcoming Australia

  • Abraham Francis  - Associate Professor - James Cook University

  • Moses Nelliman - Committee Member - Townsville Intercultural Centre 

  • Ann Houston - Director - Integra Management Services

  • Jill Armstrong - Regional Manager - Multicultural Development Australia

  • Michelle Kennedy - Events and Sponsorship Coordinator - Department of Local Government

  • Rita Prasad Ildes - Director - World Wellness Group

  • Farvardin Daliri - Executive Director - Townsville Intercultural Centre

  • Maureen Heron - Conference Manager - Townsville Intercultural Centre


Why We Need This


Race relations, pluralism and cultural diversity is a sensational topic in Australia and across the globe and it has impacted the relationships between service providers, government and communities in many different ways. Often there can be irreparable and irreversible consequences when a community’s social fabric is ripped apart and communities become divided, and we need to collaborate and share our findings with each other to safeguard and protect the Unity in Diversity that we enjoy.

When a community works with unbiased and non-judgemental approaches to culture and treats people with dignity and respect, dealing with justice rather than stereotyping and assumptions, there will inevitably be benefits for the whole community.

There are significant long-term benefits for providing a safe forum to discuss divisive multicultural and race relations issues. These include: stronger intercultural connections; enhanced sense of belonging to a community; better understanding of and tolerance for interfaith and cultural considerations; enhanced civic duty; more new arrivals becoming Australian citizens; increased sense of peace and cohesion in the community and a developed resistance to negative messaging.





The Organiser

The 2019 conference is being organised by the Townsville Intercultural Centre. Townsville Intercultural Centre is a not for profit community organisation which has been operating for over 30 years with the primary purpose of settling newly arrived refugees and migrants into the Townsville region. Social inclusion and support for culturally and linguistically diverse people is our focus.


The Townsville Cultural Festival is a not-for-profit community festival organized by the Townsville Intercultural Centre. The festival showcases an impressive cross section of diversity of Australian music, food, arts and culture, folk music, bringing tens of thousands of people together each year in celebration of life.