When leaders, change makers, and opinion shapers come together to discuss the things that truly impact the social fabric of this country – it gives us all a chance to listen, learn and grow.

For there to be tangible change and growth, first we must understand. And, for us to fully understand – we must engage in deep conversations that analyse complex divisions which might be holding us back as a nation, and as socially-just global citizens.

This is why the Crescent Institute was so honoured to present two influential professionals in their respective fields, Craig Foster AM and Hugh Riminton, to discuss Australia’s role as a global citizen in supporting multiculturalism, refugee rights and human rights.

The Night in Depth

Held at Minter Ellison’s Sydney office, the stage was set for a night rich with insights and ideas shared by Craig Foster AM, a member of the Crescent Foundation board and prominent advocate for refugee rights and social justice. Mr. Foster was joined by our moderator, ​​award-winning journalist, fellow humanitarian, and Crescent Institute board member, Hugh Riminton.

Mr. Foster first spoke about his experiences throughout his formative years representing Australia in football, and explained how a nurturing, multicultural environment helped shape him into the outstanding figure he is today.

The two then went on to discuss the strength of equality and identified key issues that must be addressed in order to achieve real change. Most notably a clear lack of media diversity and the unfolding climate crisis that is set to displace millions.

Media Diversity

Foster and Riminton discussed the lack of diversity in media around Australia and how it contributes to damaging the fundamentals of our democracy.

Major news organisations across the nation have a disproportionate amount of influence over how the public thinks. As a result, minorities who arrive on a boat have notoriously been demonised by these publications and therefore by the wider Australian public.

To combat this, practical solutions – like showing more support to CALD journalists and media publications – must take effect to diversify our media industry.

Climate Change Displacement

The two went on to warn that with 80 million people already displaced, a figure set to rise exponentially, Australia’s staunch attitude against people seeking asylum must change.

The ultimatum was posed: we either allow this escalation to continue and push us further into a sense of exclusion and isolation or we properly prepare for what’s coming, talk to the other countries around the world and actually take part in these multilateral networks, and find what the future of global displacement is going to look like.

Our Take

All in all, the night was an enormous success. Like all Crescent Institute events, the audience left with much to digest and discuss.

Our aim through events such as this is to cultivate a future Australia that everyone can look forward to. We look forward to the challenges, but also the opportunities that lie ahead of us.

As an organisation, we embrace diversity, we see the value of a multicultural society.

We see the importance of providing equal opportunity for all Australians to develop their careers in Australia, irrespective of their race, or their ethnicity, or their religious faith. As an Institute, we are committed to the increasing the role that Australians of Islamic faith can make to our nation.

We’d like to collectively thank Craig Foster AM and Hugh Riminton for taking the time to speak about the topics that help us forge a more informed Australia, Minter Ellison for enabling us to use their spectacular space, and to our wonderful audience for joining us for what was a truly special evening.

We look forward to seeing you all at the next Crescent Institute event.