We identify who we are in many ways: through our hobbies, work, race, religion, history, political views, economic ideas, and so on. Our identity can influence how we view the world, and other people, and it can be a divisive force in society.
The Greens promote the idea of building a positive identity for everyone in Western Australia. Rather than base who we are on conflict and exclusion, we work towards creating positive values and community harmony.
Many nationalist and far-right groups ask us to define our identity in opposition to another person’s identity. This way of looking at ourselves inevitably leads to conflict and fear and we must counter this negative view of our community.
A multicultural Western Australia is a place where all people are treated equally and allowed opportunities to fulfil their potential, regardless of ethnicity, religion, language or place of birth.
We must counter the view that hard-working people need to fight with an ‘undeserving minority’ for limited resources. There must be equality in our workplaces, in housing, education and the criminal justice system.
If WA is to become a safe, prosperous state that works and serves all its citizens, then we must move forward with a sense of solidarity and hope. Since the establishment of WA as a state, we have welcomed immigrants. They have made, and will continue to make, a valuable and positive contribution to society and our economy.
People from all backgrounds value hard work and family, want the best for their children, and share our hope for the future.
Inequality is corrosive to our democracy.
Our economy does not work very well when only a few people prosper, accumulating vast wealth, and working people and families suffer and become less well off. Our Government, our schools, workplaces and services should reflect the diversity of our state, empower and support everyone equally. The Greens affirm we will support and offer care to migrant communities so they can become active, contributing citizens, so we can build our future together.
We reject any attacks on our new and emerging communities. Our challenge is to counter those voices that want to divide us with fear and hate. We cannot allow ourselves to hide away and only surround ourselves with people who look like us, share the same political outlook, and never challenge our assumptions.
We encourage open dialogue and community engagement to bridge differences and build understanding. We can acknowledge the positive actions being taken by people from all backgrounds, as we work towards a shared identity that reflects what it means to be a West Australian today.
A positive, multicultural Western Australia strengthens our democracy and our economy. It builds community and stability, and benefits us all by expanding our horizons, and creating new opportunities for everyone. It creates an identity that we can be proud of.
This next state election will test our resolve to be an inclusive and optimistic state where everyone has a fair go. It will determine our future. Our efforts to heal, support and engage with diverse communities is being led by our amazing candidates standing in this state election. One of them, Rafeif Ismail, recently released an open letter to the leader of One Nation, the party that promotes hate and division.
Last week we continued our fight back against bigotry and released our Celebrate Diversity policy; we’re standing up for compassion, diversity and inclusion, and strength in our shared humanity, but we can’t do it alone.
Andrew Beaton is the Campaign Manager for WA Greens