Charter of Principles for a Culturally Diverse Society

Transition from the Ethnic Affairs Policy Statement (EAPS) to the 'Charter'

TAFE NSW has a long and distinguished record in support of multiculturalism. This commitment can be seen in the Commission's current multicultural education policies and programs and the development and provision of courses, with the Multicultural Education Policy and EAPS as its guide.

The EAPS program (1983-1993) provided TAFE NSW with the direction to improve access, participation and achievement for non-English speaking background (NESB) people. The EAPS philosophies, framework and its successful initiatives gave a strong basis on which to build.

The Commission recognises and values the cultural diversity in the NSW community and its own client groups and responds to this diversity through:

  • The provision of appropriate and relevant programs, services and employment opportunities.
  • The fostering of an environment which is free from racial harassment and discriminatory practices.
  • The Charter of Principles for a Culturally Diverse Society replaces the EAPS programs and continues to ensure that NESB people participate effectively in the benefits flowing from the national training reforms. It continues to focus on multicultural education in practice.

What is the Charter of Principles for a Culturally Diverse Society

The Charter of Principles for a Culturally Diverse Society was adopted by the New South Wales Government to guide its activity and was launched by the Premier in September 1993.

The Government regards cultural and linguistic diversity of the State's population as a valuable national resource which enhances all aspects of life. All NSW institutions will be required to diversify their policies and activities in order to realise the full potential of the population.

The charter will be reflected in all Government policies and activities, and its dealing with the non-government sector.

What are the Principles of the 'Charter'

All individuals in NSW should have the greatest possible opportunity to contribute to, and participate in, all levels of public life.

All individuals and public institutions should respect and accommodate the culture, language and religion of others within an Australian legal and institutional teamwork where English is the primary language.

All individuals should have the greatest possible opportunity to make use of and participate in relevant activities and programs provided and/ or administered by NSW government institutions.

All NSW public institutions should recognise the linguistic and cultural assets in the NSW population as a valuable resource and utilise and promote this resource to maximise the development of the state.

Implementation of the 'Charter' in TAFE NSW

TAFE NSW has produced a Statement of Intent (SOI) covering the period 1994-1997. The SOI outlines the Commission's commitments to the culturally diverse society as part of the implementation process of the Charter and as a further step in the Commission's commitment to its NESB customers.

Each year starting from July 1994, an annual Charter Implementation process of the Charter and as a further step in the Commission's commitment to its NESB customers.

Each year starting form July 1994, an annual Charter Implementation Plan will be developed demonstrating how the commitments in the SOI will be implemented.

What is the SOI?

The Commission's SOI 1994-1997 is a set of commitments and outcomes representing what TAFE NSW customers can expect as a result of the implementation of the Charter of Principles for a Culturally Diverse Society. It forms the basis for the implementation of the Charter and for the development of the Commission's strategies for implementing the SOI and the Charter Implementation Plans.

The SOI is outcomes-focused and relates to all functions and services of the Commission under four key result areas:

  • access and participation;
  • programs and service delivery;
  • promotion of TAFE NSW;
  • outcomes for TAFE NSW customers.

The SOI will be used as a benchmark to evaluate progress in the services and programs provided over the three year period.

What does the 'Charter' mean to TAFE NSW Staff?

The Charter through the SOI, as with the EAPS before it, will be incorporated into the Commission's policies, plans and reports and will impact on provisions and practices.

Institute Directors/Manager ensure that the SOI commitments are met. All staff have responsibility to implement these commitments and ensure their customers enjoy all the opportunities TAFE NSW has to offer and are able to learn and work in an environment which is free from harassment and discrimination.

How does the 'Charter' work in TAFE NSW?

The SOI and Charter Implementation Plans are the product of extensive consultation with TAFE NSW staff and other stakeholders and cover course, curriculum and materials development; student selection, enrolment and assessment; information services; staff recruitment and development; marketing and liaison with community, industry and other providers.

The TAFE NSW Multicultural Education Unit coordinates the development and monitoring of, and reporting on, the Charter Implementation Plans. The unit reviews and evaluates them against the SOI.

Each year TAFE NSW prepares a Charter Implementation Plan and reports on it at the end of the year. The plans/reports are sent to the Ethnic Affairs Commission of NSW for the report to the Minister for Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs who in turn reports to the Parliament.