She’s changing the conversation.

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BY: Jasmine Elliott

A Million Miles to acceptance.

A Million Miles to belonging.

A Million Miles to welcome.

A Million Miles to home.

But for many people, migrating to Australia only touches the surface of the intangible distances which can exist: between you and your previous residence; your family; your culture; and belonging in a new society. This new society doesn’t know who you are, or the fantastic skills and stories that you bring with you.

multiculturalism in australia
How far would a million miles be for you?

So, how do we – as Australians – showcase this?

Mainstream media isn’t helping. When was the last time you watched the news and saw a positive story regarding multiculturalism, rather than just the fear of the unknown?

The present and past has been riddled with individuals and groups, who state that ‘multiculturalism isn’t good for our country’, or ‘cultural diversity is eroding the real Australian culture’.

Think about it.

After Sonia Kruger’s comments on immigration, and youth fought back. Watch their responses. (Post continues after video.)

Whether it’s the vast array of Indigenous Australian cultures present in Australia, or the arrival of numerous other cultures post-settlement, Australia is a multicultural country.

To say that multiculturalism is negative would be reflective of the entire Australian culture, in general. Multiculturalism is great. In fact, Census data has shown that almost one in four Australians were born overseas, and 43.1% of people have at least one overseas-born parent.

As movements such as Brexit arise in other countries against immigration, it is essential to highlight the undeniable benefits of individuals and families making diverse contributions to society.

We need to let culturally and linguistically diverse Australians know that they belong.

multiculturalism in australia
A story told by our project.

This is where the Million Miles Project comes into play – and that’s why I am launching this project.

It aims to close this distance, and help culturally and linguistically diverse Australians feel at home. We counteract the negativity of mainstream media by highlighting the infinite positive aspects of cultural diversity.

The Million Miles Project is a media campaign that will comprise of short videos, stories of the obstacles and triumphs associated with moving to Australia, in addition to images and quotes.

But, we need your help.

We want your suggestions; your stories to share and prove that cultural diversity is one of Australia’s greatest assets.

If you wish to share or lend a hand, please email: themillionmiles@gmail.com or check out our Facebook page here.

Jasmine Elliot is the 2016 Youth Member for Gladstone and founder of The Million Miles Project.

Did you know, QYP is also holding a ball? Yes, true story! If you fancy a fab night out, a time to meet new friends, and maybe even network with some Very Important People then you should definitely come. You can buy tickets here and check out our event here.

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