Building peace in one of Australia’s most diverse communities
Local government takes on Positive Peace to shore up social cohesion within a multicultural melting pot.
The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) is bringing its unique Positive Peace training workshops to local government in Australia.
In collaboration with Melton City Council, the workshops will help strengthen the rapidly growing and diverse local community using the Positive Peace framework.
Melton, an urban area on the outskirts of the bustling Melbourne metropolis, is home to more than 30,000 migrants from over 130 nations. According to the Australian Census, more than 28 per cent of the City of Melton population was born overseas.
In recent years, accelerated population growth is increasing the level of local multiculturalism. The Census shows between 2006 and 2011, the number of people born overseas increased by 58 per cent, and the number of people from a non-English speaking background increased by 64 per cent.
As part of Melton City Council’s proactive Intercultural Plan to include all groups, faiths and cultures in the growth phase of their local area, IEP will be implementing two Positive Peace workshops to encourage dialogue and build peace from a grassroots level.
Director of Partnerships at IEP, Charlie Allen, said the objectives of IEP’s Positive Peace framework are consistent with Melton City Council’s existing Intercultural Plan:
“Melton’s Intercultural Plan is ostensibly about building Positive Peace. IEP will work with Melton City Council to tailor a workshop for the Melton community to deliver on the plan,”
“The Positive Peace framework is particularly relevant for fostering relationships. It contains eight pillars or socio-economic factors that build cohesive communities, but they are all dependent on one another. The framework hinges on the interrelationships between these pillars,”
“The Good Relations with Neighbours pillar is also an important concept. This pillar specifically encourages peaceful relations between countries on a national level, but also good relations between different groups within a community. By fostering these ideals, communities will build more stable, prosperous and peaceful places to live.” Mr Allen said.
IEP has independently developed the Positive Peace framework after years of collecting and analysing data from the annual Global Peace Index reports, which reveals what works in peaceful societies.
The research shows high levels of Positive Peace are associated with peace, resilience, happiness, better economic and environmental outcomes.
Positive Peace is defined as the attitudes, institutions, and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies and creates an optimal environment for human potential to flourish.