Goals and Visions

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Goals and Visions

The Role of the Multicultural Council

The Multicultural Council of the Northern Territory (MCNT) is a community-based non-profit organisation that advocates and provides direct services for individuals, families and communities from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in the Top End of the Northern Territory.

The MCNT was established in 1977 as the Ethnic Communities Council of the Northern Territory (ECCNT). In 2000, the name was changed to Multicultural Council of the Northern Territory in order to reflect the inclusive and diverse nature of the organisation and to forge greater outreach with the wider community.

The MCNT has been based in the multicultural hub of Darwin’s northern suburbs since 2004. In recent years the MCNT has expanded its operations and developed a range of innovative and interactive activities funded by Federal and NT Government agencies specifically targeted to its multicultural constituency. The MCNT has over a number of years developed the reputation from its office at Malak as a ‘drop in centre’ and ‘one stop shop’ for its clients and members.

The MCNT receives recurrent operational funding from the Northern Territory Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) as a key stakeholder and independent consultative body for the NT Government. OMA views the MCNT as having three primary roles – providing information, advocacy, and community engagement – in meeting its responsibilities and objectives for operational funding.

The MCNT also receives project funding from the Federal Government: the Settlement Grants Program (SGP) of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) assisting recent arrivals with settlement and capacity building; and the Family Support Program of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) supporting disadvantaged CALD background families and increasing their participation in community life.

As a peak body and service provider the MCNT:
  • Advocates, provides advice and represents the interests, concerns and aspirations of people from CALD backgrounds in the Northern Territory;
  • Raises the profile and creates awareness of the needs and issues of CALD communities, particularly recently-arrived migrants and refugees;
  • Informs, mentors, consults with, and provides a forum and meeting place for its clients and members; and
  • Undertakes specific projects, programs and support services aimed at addressing the needs and service gaps for clients from CALD communities.

MCNT Goals and Principles

The MCNT promotes multiculturalism as a policy that works for all Australians. The MCNT promotes empowerment for people from CALD backgrounds through culturally appropriate advocacy and direct service delivery to ensure full participation in the Territory’s social, cultural, economic, political and civic life.

The MCNT’s core business and organisational ethics are guided by the principles of access and equity, social inclusion, community harmony and celebration of diversity.

The MCNT develops and present programs and activities that foster cross-cultural awareness and cooperation, create opportunities for constructive dialogue and enhance shared values of mutual respect, compassion, inclusion and acceptance within and between the between the new and emerging migrant and refugee communities, Indigenous groups and established wider Australian community.

MCNT Objectives

  • To combine policy development and direct service delivery within a community development framework to enable positive change on a local, state, and national level.
  • To provide direct settlement services and programs to recently-arrived migrants and refugees, and to ensure effective local orientation, settlement and self-reliance.
  • To advise on government policy and practice and seek equality, social justice, inclusion and empowerment for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
  • To provide comprehensive and coordinated advice and services to clients and groups on issues of common concern and to advocate to government and non-government agencies.
  • To ensure the rights of ethnic organisations to a fair share of community resources and to participate in the decision making process on issues which affect or concern them.
  • To promote, foster and enhance the Northern Territory’s multicultural society through recognition and preservation of cultural and linguistic diversity.
  • To promote and enhance creative, cultural and social networking skills development in migrant and refugee communities and to foster enterprises based on cooking, arts and crafts.
  • To provide poverty support and emergency relief programs to migrant and refugee families suffering financial crisis or destitution.
  • To assist young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to develop academic skills and achieve educational potential through provision of tutorial support.
  • To provide direct ethno-specific services specifically targeting the special needs of migrant and refugee women, youth, seniors and long-term unemployed.
  • To collaborate with ethnic communities and existing service providers in identifying service gaps and in the planning and delivery of services for migrants and refugees.
  • To promote community development and support multicultural and ethnic organisations to contribute to and enjoy the social, economic and cultural life of the wider community.
  • To encourage full participation in mainstream Australian life with interaction rather than isolation and the development of a non-discriminatory and socially cohesive society.

MCNT Stakeholders and Membership Base

The MCNT has a broad and diverse membership base, and maintains considerable outreach and interaction with its multicultural constituency. The MCNT works with a range of stakeholders and consults regularly with its members and ethnic community leaders to discuss issues of concern and ascertain evolving and emerging settlement needs and issues for migrants and refugees in our society.

The MCNT welcomes new applications for membership from interested individuals and associations, subject to approval by the MCNT Management Committee. The MCNT looks forward to an exciting future and values the contribution of its members.

The MCNT is a member of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) and the Settlement Council of Australia (SCOA). The MCNT sits on many advisory committees and boards for the government and non-government sectors in the Territory. The MCNT Council is also used as a referral point for ethnic community associations and by a number of community organisations, service providers and government agencies.

As a peak body the MCNT responds and contributes to public policy development though regular submissions to FECCA, SCOA and Commonwealth Government agencies, and represents and advocates for CALD community clients and MCNT members at inter-agency meetings and national consultations.

Our goals are:

The MCNT promotes multiculturalism as a policy that works for all Australians. The MCNT promotes empowerment for people from CALD backgrounds through culturally appropriate advocacy and direct service delivery to ensure full participation in the Territory’s social, cultural, economic, political and civic life.

The MCNT’s core business and organisational ethics are guided by the principles of access and equity, social inclusion, community harmony and celebration of diversity.

Multi Cultural Council NT

Office Address:

Shop 15 Malak Shopping Centre
Malak Place - Malak
Location Map >>

Postal Address:

PO Box 299
Karama NT 0813