Australian multiculturalism is personal passion for Tim.
While Tim’s ancestors arrived in Australia in the 1840s, his wife, Joyce, arrived in Australia with her parents from Hong Kong in the 1980s. As a result, Tim’s children are at once both second and sixth generation Australians. As a result, Tim understands the needs of our multicultural communities and is passionate about protecting the harmonious multicultural society in which we live.
Tim is proud to represent one of the most multicultural electorates in Australia. Over 60% of Gellibrand residents have at least one parent born overseas, and one short stroll through Footscray reveals the variety of cultural life within the Gellibrand community.
Our immigrant communities in Gellibrand have produced such leading lights as Bachar Houli, Alice Pung, and Lydia Lassilia. They showcase Australia’s talent to the world and they comment, critique, and agitate for it to reach its full potential.
Unfortunately the Abbott Government does not appreciate the contribution that cultural diversity brings to Australian society. The Abbott Government has played politics with immigration and shifted the tone of the debate to one of fear. The abolition of the Minister for Multiculturalism demonstrates clearly that promoting multiculturalism and cultural diversity is not a priority of the Abbott Government.
As Tim noted in his First Speech in the Parliament, the Abbott Government’s attitude to multiculturalism and immigration is best demonstrated by its decision to change the name of the former “Department of Immigration and Citizenship” to the “Department of Immigration and Border Protection”:
“Let’s examine those words: Citizenship and Border Protection.
One of those words is about inclusion; One is about repulsion.
One is about opportunity; one is about fear.
One represents a very large number of people; the other a very small.
Such are the ignorant, inverted priorities of the Coalition.”
Tim Watts MP – First Speech to the Parliament – 2nd of December 2013