In many parts of the world, multiculturalism has emerged as a key policy mechanism for managing diversity. For example, in Australia, multiculturalism has received bipartisan political support since the early 1970s. However, as in other contexts, global political events, including the rise of extremism, discrimination and concerns over immigration, have led to periods of retreat from multicultural policy. Taking this macro-context as a starting point, this presentation outlines a meso-level analysis of a workforce diversity and anti-discrimination programme within local government in Australia. Findings reveal the importance of workforce diversity and anti-discrimination intervention in ensuring the ongoing success of multiculturalism in western democracies, including increased focus on skilled migration. I end with a discussion of how western forms of multiculturalism, such as in Australia, could benefit from other models, including in Singapore, through the adoption of multiracial, multireligious and multilingual policies and practices.
About the Speaker
Brigid Trenerry is a Research Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. Her research draws from multiple disciplines, including sociology, political science, social psychology and management studies, with a focus on organisation/workplace contexts and policy translation. Along with an interest in diversity and anti-discrimination, Brigid’s current research interests include the impact of digital disruption in the workplace and the future of work and she is currently working on a project aimed at tackling digital disruption in Singapore. Brigid is particularly interested in intervention research and studying innovative responses to workplace digital disruption, diversity and discrimination across multiple settings and contexts.
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