George Megalogenis’s article “The Changing Face of Australia” (Australian Foreign Affairs 1, October 2017) spoke to me like no other. His article validates the potential of those from culturally diverse backgrounds – like myself, an Australian-born Chinese – and the role we can play to advance Australia’s interests regionally and globally.
Megalogenis points out that Australia’s foreign policy remains deeply rooted in an Anglo past. This is because the relevant policymakers and the federal parliament do not reflect the cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity of Australia. Research published last year by the Australian Human Rights Commission found that 95 per cent of parliamentarians are of Anglo-Celtic-European heritage. Chinese and Indian Australians, the two communities Megalogenis mentioned in his article, do not hold a single seat in federal parliament. If parliament is a reflection of the face of modern Australia, there should be at least 104 MPs from culturally diverse backgrounds.