Multicultural Australia’s LUMINOUS Festival will light up South Bank Parklands on Saturday, 3 August for the largest multicultural celebration in Queensland’s history.  

Launching Multicultural Queensland Month with an unforgettable celebration of our State’s growing cultural diversity, LUMINOUS Festival 2024 brings together Multicultural Australia’s LUMINOUS Lantern Parade and MOSAIC Multicultural Festival.  

Christine Castley, Multicultural Australia CEO, shared her excitement about the reshaped event.  

“This year, we are bringing LUMINOUS and MOSAIC together to create an experience that truly showcases the contributions and talents of Queensland’s multicultural communities,” Ms Castley said.  

“The LUMINOUS Lantern Parade has a simple and powerful message of welcome, connection and belonging. It is an invite for people from across communities to walk with us in support of new Queenslanders and play an active role in creating a community that embraces people from all walks of life. 

“Our MOSAIC Multicultural Festival brings the stories, traditions, and talents of culturally diverse communities to the fore, through music, dance, food, and fashion. 

“Bringing our two flagship events together is an opportunity to engage more Queenslanders on our journey to create welcome and belonging and deliver the largest multicultural festival our State has ever seen. 

Hosted at South Bank Parklands, Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct, the event will feature live music and dance performances, cooking demonstrations from refugee and migrant home chefs, immersive music and dance workshops, sport activations, zones for kids aged six and under, and youth, food trucks and arts and craft stalls.  

The evening will be highlighted by the lantern parade procession at dusk, followed by a high-energy performance from Queensland’s premier Latin American band, The Mad Mariachi, to close out the festivities. 

LUMINOUS lantern parade began as a candlelight march in support of refugees and asylum seekers in 2008. Now in its 17th year, Christine emphasised the need for unity. 

“In a time of global conflict and many social challenges, we need to be intentional about how we come together as a community to celebrate the joy of true welcome, connection and belonging.  

“LUMINOUS Festival is a chance for us to get to know our neighbours better and learn more about the wonderful people who call Queensland home. 

“I invite you to walk with us on our journey.” 

LUMINOUS Festival is delivered by Multicultural Australia, Queensland’s leading settlement provider, with support from strategic partners – Brisbane City Council, Suncorp Group, the Queensland Government and South Bank Corporation.  

Multicultural Australia calls on all political leaders to engage in responsible and thoughtful discussions on migration to ensure the focus is firmly set on long-term population planning for a prosperous and inclusive future for everyone. 

“We know what the issues are – the housing crisis, healthcare, education, infrastructure, access to community services and cost of living. This is an important conversation that we must have as a broader Australian community without resorting to simply blaming migrants. What we heard so far is an over-simplistic response to a very nuanced and complex set of issues. 

A strong, diverse economy and population is critical to Queensland and Australia – to address local skills shortages, an ageing population and to boost our growth. 

“The debate we are having is really about housing, infrastructure and the services that government should be providing to support Australians who need it. These issues are complex and need to be solved by looking at all the reasons why we have a housing shortage and what is getting in the way of delivering the housing supply we need. The Australian Government has already announced significant cuts to our migration numbers, and further reductions will not solve the problem. We also need to remember that migration in Australia includes both domestic and international migration. 

Ms Castley called on leaders from across the political spectrum to responsibly and authentically engage in the discussion of migration. 

The current conversation is a distraction from tackling the real issues and does not address the role of migration as an important part of our longer-term well-being and security. It does not provide Australians with the right information to understand the real issues underpinning our housing and infrastructure challenges and it is potentially a dangerous conversation because it risks impacting our social cohesion by locating migrants in opposition to locals and crucially, it ignores the risks to our economy from turning away the same skilled prospective migrants we would seek to invite to Australia, to help our economic and productivity growth.  

“The comments that have come from politicians representing different political parties and ideologies highlight the need for us to grow-up as a country. 

“This is a plea for our leaders to focus on what the best population outcomes are for us as a country and what a sustainable, strategic, and responsible migration program could look like if it is part of a broader population planning strategy. 

“Let’s have a robust and evidence-based discussion that highlights the real issues and looks at practical solutions without political point scoring.” 

Ms Castley emphasised the need for the conversation to be handled with care.  

“We need to ensure that this does not become a divisive and racist conversation. 

“Australia is widely regarded as one of the most successful multicultural nations in the world, and it is important that as we have a complex conversation about the future of migration, that we also remember and celebrate our success story of multiculturalism – economically, socially, and culturally. 

“Australians who come from different cultural, faith and national backgrounds cannot be made to feel that they do not belong. 

“Accurate information must be presented to our communities, and a diversity of voices from across the broader community must be given the opportunity to contribute to the conversation. 

“It is our collective responsibility to create an Australia that we can all be proud of.” 


Multicultural Australia is distressed and concerned about statements made by the President of the Queensland Police Union in a Courier Mail Opinion Piece (25/10/2023).

As an organisation committed to creating belonging and inclusion for all Australians, we believe in our individual and collective responsibility to strive for justice, equality and reconciliation for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Multicultural Australia CEO Christine Castley says that Mr Leavers’ comments ignore the uncomfortable truth that our First Nations peoples continue to experience the deep and enduring impacts of colonisation, intergenerational trauma and systemic racism resulting in disproportionately higher risks of homelessness, incarceration, unemployment, complex health issues, disrupted education, domestic violence and neglect.

“The lives of some of the most vulnerable in our community, especially our young people, should not be a political game. These comments are divisive and harmful at a time when we should be coming together to work towards reconciliation and healing, and to focus on ways to bring us all together and to heal,” Ms Castley said

Queensland African Communities Council deplores the irresponsible comments made by the President of Queensland Police Union, said, Beny Bol OAM, President of QACC.

“Words from leaders and people in the position of power, influence and authority have profound impact on how we live with and treat each other as citizens,” Mr Bol added. ” We’re all on the journey of healing and recovery with our First Nations people, and we fully echo the statement by Multicultural Australia.”

Multicultural Australia joins with our community services colleagues and QCOSS in condemning the Police Union President’s comments.

We also emphasise the reminder from the Queensland Human Rights Commissioner to media outlets, commentators and people making comments in public spaces (including online) to remember that Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Act makes vilification unlawful – this incudes any public statement that incites hatred, serious contempt or severe ridicule on matters of public interest where the words are delivered in bad faith.

Media enquiries please contact Stanton Dunn, Communications, Marketing & Events Manager on 0493 291 699 or –

Tasty international foods, non-stop music, dancing, and interactive games for children – all feature at Multicultural Australia’s iconic MOSAIC Multicultural Festival in the Roma Street Parklands this Sunday (17th September).

Festival goers can acquire the secrets of preparing traditional delicacies from five expert home cooks from the multicultural community.

Foods from Afghanistan, Iraq, Ghana, Ukraine, and Venezuela will be showcased in the international cooking marquee onsite where the expert cooks will also share their settlement stories.

The demonstration cooking sessions starting at 11am, last 45 minutes and will run till late afternoon.

Food tastings and free, easy to understand recipes are on offer too.

Multicultural Australia’s CEO, Christine Castley said the festival prides itself on offering something for everybody.

“It’s now the biggest celebration of its type in Queensland.

“Over 8,000 revellers marked springtime in the Parklands last year.

“The MOSAIC Multicultural Festival enjoys pride of place now in the Brisbane Festivals Serenades program.

“It’s great big fun day out.

“And a day where stronger relationships and understandings between all our peoples are shared,” Ms Castley said.

With the Parklands in full spring bloom, the MOSAIC Multicultural Festival features a stellar lineup of 50 outstanding, music and dance performers again including all the crowd-favourites.

Headline act – the frenzied sounds of Bullhorn a brass-infused powerhouse where trumpets, trombones, saxophones, and the dynamic presence of Roman MC will whip up unbeatable rhythms for an unforgettable party experience.

Artists from all around the world will be performing on centre stage.

High energy acts include the Columbian Izalco, the talented Future Destin from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the show-stopping Unbreakable Dance Crew, originally from South Sudan.

“The MOSAIC Multicultural Festival highlights Brisbane’s on-going commitment to creating a safe, welcoming city for all cultures.

“It’s a wonderful day for families and people to come together, learn about other cultures and establish lasting bonds of friendship,” Ms Castley said.

The festival runs from 10am till 5pm.

The event is free, however please register your interest in attending so we can communicate any changes directly to you.

More information and event registration here:

For media enquiries please contact Stanton Dunn, Communications, Marketing and Events Manager on 0493 291 699 or

Following a successful season in 2023, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and Multicultural Australia are thrilled to announce the return of Changing the Conversation, a four-part series unpacking issues affecting all Australians.

Featuring facilitator led panels of thought leaders, Changing the Conversation explores a wide range of topics that captivate audiences and challenge views.

Multicultural Australia CEO, Christine Castley, envisions the 2024 series as an opportunity for Queenslanders to think critically about nation building.

“This series is a chance for people from across our community to engage in important and complex conversations about the state of Australia and the future we collectively and individually hope to build,” Ms Castley said. 

“We are keen to delve into the conversations and debates that many of us are having at our dinner tables and in our workplaces.

“I am confident that the topics we explore will resonate with Queenslanders and help provide better connection with lived experiences and worldviews of people from different backgrounds.”

QPAC Chief Executive, John Kotzas AM, said the Centre was pleased to partner with Multicultural Australia to present the second Changing the Conversation series as part of a multi-year partnership aimed at providing accessible and inclusive experiences through the arts.

“Cultural institutions are essential to vibrant communities and healthy democracies. For QPAC, it is important to offer a rich and diverse program of live performance and conversation events that provides entertainment as well as opportunities to experience other viewpoints.   

“The 2024 conversation series promises stimulating and thought-provoking discussions that will explore different perspectives and dimensions of our multicultural society on relevant, challenging and important topics for us all,” Mr Kotzas said. 

This year’s lineup promises to mirror the rich diversity of Queensland.

“We have a fantastic lineup of experts and storytellers from across our community participating in our conversations this year,” Christine said. 

“From academics to leaders in the corporate, community, sports and arts sectors, we are ensuring that voices from more parts of our community are included and heard.

“Each conversation will also feature a curated performance to help contextualise the discussion and showcase the talent and diversity of our multicultural community.”

The 2024 series launches on 12 March with Changing the game: Sport, women, and culture, a stimulating discussion about what happens when the world of sport, the world of women and the world of multiculturalism collide.

Discussions to follow include Culture in conflict: talking about world news when it hits home on 25 June, Who are we? Identity in a multicultural Australia on 20 August and Words that bind: creating unity through our many languages on 19 November.

Tickets for all events are now available, with discounted rates for those eager to experience the entire series. Secure your tickets today through

Changing the Conversation events’ panel members and facilitator to be announced.

For Media enquiries, please contact:
Stanton Dunn
Communications, Marketing and Events Manager, Multicultural Australia
0493 291 699

Federal Treasurer, the Hon Jim Chalmers and State Treasurer, the Hon Cameron Dick, officially opened Multicultural Australia’s new Logan office and unveiled a specially commissioned Indigenous artwork on Friday, 8 September.

Minister Jim Chalmers (Rankin) and Minister Cameron Dick (Woodridge) represent culturally diverse electorates in Queensland.
Both commend Multicultural Australia’s (MA) vital work in Logan – Queensland’s most ethnically diverse city.

Multicultural Australia CEO, Christine Castley, said that Multicultural Australia is very keen for community to feel at home in the space, and access it for support and services that will help them feel a sense of belonging in their local community.

“This office space is purpose-built for our community – with prayer rooms, kids play areas, lounge areas and meeting rooms.

“For more than a decade, we have shared an office space with our partner organisation and good friends at QPASTT, reflecting the close relationship that we share through our co-location not just in Logan, but also in other Queensland locations such as Brisbane and Toowoomba.

“While we have now both moved to new spaces in Logan, we continue to work closely together.

“Many of our staff live in Logan – which means they know this community inside out and are passionate about the people they serve.

“And many of them also have lived experience as refugees and migrants, and all our staff apply a culturally humble and client centred practice framework.

“More than 50% of our clients settle in the Logan region.

“Over the next few months, we will welcome upwards of 800 displaced children and adults across Queensland.

“Our aim is to provide every new arrival not just with housing, health, schooling, and employment services, but also the foundations that everyone needs to establish themselves and ultimately position them on the path to Independence.”

Friday’s opening is another highlight as Multicultural Australia celebrates 25 years of advancing multiculturalism in Queensland.

Guests attending also had the opportunity to taste a selection of international dishes.
The special foods, prepared by home chefs from migrant and refugee backgrounds will feature at Multicultural Australia’s MOSAIC Festival at Roma Street Parklands on Sunday 17 September.

Multicultural Australia’s MOSAIC Festival, that drew over 8,000 revellers last Spring, is back, bigger than ever as part of Brisbane Festival’s event line-up this September.

The signature festival event – part of Multicultural Australia’s 25th Anniversary celebrations – rolls out on Sunday 17 September, and admission is free.

Media Release Image 1

Multicultural Australia’s CEO, Christine Castley said the festival is now well established as one of Brisbane’s most popular celebrations of our multicultural society.

“It brings people together from all walks of life in a shared love of music and exotic food right in the green heart of beautiful Brisbane.”

“It’s a great big, fun day out where stronger relationships and understandings between all our peoples are shared,” Ms Castley said.

With the Parklands in full spring bloom, the MOSAIC Festival features a non-stop, stellar line-up of more than 50 music and dance performances, workshops, and activations.

Headline act, Bullhorn, are a brass-infused powerhouse where trumpets, trombones, saxophones, and the dynamic presence of Roman MC will whip up unbeatable rhythms for an unforgettable party experience.

Artists from around the world will be on centre stage.

Acts include the Columbian Izalco, the talented Future Destin from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the show-stopping Unbreakable Dance Crew, originally from South Sudan.

Media Release Image 2

As well as enjoying outstanding entertainers, the event features the popular Cultural Kitchen, with home chefs from migrant and refugee backgrounds sharing treasured family recipes.

“Home chefs from the multicultural community will cook their treasured dishes for revellers to taste and savour whilst sharing their settlement stories,” Ms Castley said.

“This year, dishes from Afghanistan, Iraq, Ghana, Ukraine, and Venezuela will feature.”

Media Release Image 3

“The MOSAIC Multicultural Festival highlights Brisbane’s on-going commitment to creating a safe, welcoming city for all cultures.”

The festival runs from 10am till 5pm on Sunday 17 September.

More information and event registration here:

For media enquiries please contact Stanton Dunn, Communications, Marketing and Events Manager on 0493 291 699 or

Multicultural Australia’s LUMINOUS Lantern parade will return and bathe Toowoomba’s landmark, the old Empire Theatre, in a glow of colours and lights on Saturday 12th August – during Multicultural month.

It’s the third year the popular event will be staged in the Garden City as part of Multicultural Australia’s expanding LUMINOUS in the Regions program.

MA CEO, Christine Castley, said LUMINOUS is all about highlighting the warm spirit of welcome, connection and belonging that is extended to everyone living in Queensland.

“It’s a great way to celebrate our many cultural and linguistically diverse communities who have made their home on the Downs and letting them know their cultures are accepted and embraced.

“LUMINOUS in the Regions is especially significant this year as we mark the 25th anniversary of Multicultural Australia – 25 years of advancing multiculturalism in our nation.

“It highlights ten successful years since Toowoomba officially became a Refugee Settlement Zone, and over a decade since MA opened its Toowoomba office.

“The city has grown to become a wonderfully diverse place,’ Ms Castley said.

“People here have opened their arms and warmly welcomed refugees from all over the world, predominately from Syria, Sudan, Chad, Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Over the last few weeks, community hubs in Toowoomba and TAFE have held LUMINOUS lantern making workshops.

From 4pm till 5.30pm on the day of the parade, attendees will have the opportunity to make their own lanterns at the Empire Theatre.

The Mad Mariachi Band will ensure a festive mood for everyone in the grounds of the Empire Theatre before LUMINOUS in the Regions: Toowoomba is officially opened at 6pm.

Dozens and dozens of beautifully handcrafted lanterns will light up the night in a special people’s parade round the old building.

Ms Castley said the fun evening celebration is a free event and everyone is welcome to attend and take part in all the activities.

“LUMINOUS is a splendid way to use light to symbolise creating a welcome for all new Queenslanders and to showcase our vibrant, multicultural state.”

All LUMINOUS in the Regions events are proudly supported by Suncorp and the Queensland Government.

For media enquiries please contact Stanton Dunn, Communications, Marketing and Events Manager on 0493 291 699 or

Brave Conversations about Multiculturalism is the third event in the series of thought-provoking discussions exploring key issues facing a multicultural Australia.

The event on Wednesday 23rd August is delivered in partnership with QPAC, celebrating Multicultural Australia’s (MA) 25th anniversary this year.

MA CEO, Christine Castley said it is imperative we have a conversation on just how we move forward as an all-inclusive society.

“Australia’s success as a multicultural community is something to be celebrated. But we must also have open honest discussions about what’s needed to create a nation that fully reflects and cares for all its people.

“Privilege, racism and systemic discrimination all continue to be very real issues that must be acknowledged and tackled if we are ever to achieve a fair and inclusive Australia for everyone.

“And this means having some very brave conversations across all our communities and across our multicultural nation,” Ms Castley said. “A key question is how we have these brave conversations in a way that is courageous, confident, compassionate and constructive.”

“I expect some robust discussion from the panel on just who we are as a nation and how we can all play an important part in taking positive steps forward as a country and as a community.”

Benjamin Law will facilitate Brave Conversations about Multiculturalism.

Benjamin Law writes books, TV screenplays, columns, essays, and feature journalism. Most recently, Ben edited the collection of stories, ‘Growing Up Queer’ in Australia and was also a researcher and associate producer on Blackfella Films’ ‘Deep Water: The Real Story’ (SBS) and a writer on Endemol Shine’s ‘Sisters’ (Ten). Recently he starred in the ABC’s two-part documentary series ‘Waltzing the Dragon with Benjamin Law’, where he travels from China to Arnhem Land to explore the history, unpack the present, and look to the future of Australia’s relationship with China. Every week, Benjamin co-hosts ABC RN’s weekly national pop culture show ‘Stop Everything’. He also co-hosts online startup and tech TV show ‘That Startup Show’, and you can catch him on TV shows like ‘Q&A’ (ABC), ‘The Drum’ (ABC), ‘The Projec’t (Ten) and ‘Filthy Rich and Homeless’ (SBS).

The expert panel will feature:

Anisa Nandaula, a nationally recognised spoken word poet, play writer, educator, and published author. She is the 2016 Queensland Poetry slam champion, winner of the XYZ Innovation in Spoken Word Prize and has performed at the Sydney Opera house and Splendour in the Grass. She shared her work on channel 10, the ABC and has now set her sights on stand-up comedy.

Christine Castley, Chief Executive Officer of Multicultural Australia. Prior to this, she was a Deputy Director-General in various Departments in the Queensland Government. Christine is a passionate advocate for equal access to justice and services for everyone regardless of their gender, beliefs, or circumstances, drawing on her lived experience as a first-generation migrant. Christine has recently been appointed as a member of an Expert Panel by the Australian Government to undertake a major review into multiculturalism in Australia.

Imam Uzair Akbar, a well-known respected scholar, dynamic speaker, and a prominent leader in the Muslim community of Australia. He has been the appointed Imam for over two decades in the century-old Holland Park mosque in Brisbane. He is currently the President of the Council of Imams Queensland (CIQ), member of the ANIC (Australian National Imams Council), Head of Shariah Advisory board with Amanah Islamic Finance Australia (AIFA), Director of Centre of Excellence (Australian Youth Welfare Trust), Director of ISHP Youth Club, and sits on the board of many other not-for-profits organizations.

Moale James is a community-led storyteller and creative producer. Born in Darwin on Larrakia Country, she has spent most of her life taking part in the many productions of Drum Drum, Sunameke, Weaving Cultural Stories and Gaba Musik, which led her to grassroots, community-arts projects. Her podcast, ‘Our Women, Our Stories’, brings together Australian First Nation and Pacific Islander women to explore the ways they engage with culture and its many facets in the everyday context.

MA’s Changing the Conversation series began in March focussed on the Uluru Statement from the Heart as the lead-up to this year’s Voice Referendum.

The 2nd in the series, before another packed audience examined Artificial Intelligence in the Digital Age. How AI will affect an increasingly multicultural Australia and how best we can navigate the challenges and opportunities it presents.

Previous attendees of the Changing the Conversation Series said:

“An amazing night where I heard inspiring speakers and listened to a future that filled me with hope for a new direction.”

“…extremely worthwhile. Some extremely interesting speakers from across the age range. I am looking forward to the next event.”

“…the panellists were brilliant.”

For media enquiries please contact Stanton Dunn, Communications, Marketing and Events Manager on 0493 291 699 or

Multicultural Australia welcomes the launch of the Multicultural Framework Review as part of national efforts to strengthen social cohesion in Australia.

The review will ensure that Australia’s multicultural policies and institutional arrangements cater to the needs of our fast-growing cultural diversity.

Multicultural Australia Board Chair, Giri Sivaraman, has welcomed the announcement about the Review and congratulated Multicultural Australia’s CEO, Christine Castley on her appointment to the Expert Review Panel.

“We are very pleased to hear of Christine’s appointment and have full confidence that she will bring with her the voices and ideas of our community to help build a strong, resilient and multicultural Australia,” said Mr Sivaraman.

“Multicultural Australia has been caring for culturally and linguistically diverse communities for 25 years. In that time, we have gained an understanding of the unique and diverse needs of our clients and community and can share the lived experiences of those we engage with, to create policies that reflect the communities they intend to serve.”

“We look forward to contributing to the Review, and engaging in the very important conversations that need to happen about how we can best meet the growing diversity of needs in our society, to ensure that we care for every individual regardless of who they are or where they come from.”

In early February 2023, the Australian Government announced its plan to assess the fitness of current policies and institutions designed to serve culturally diverse Australians.

The 2021 Census revealed that Australia’s population is now predominantly of migrant background, with more than half of Australians either born overseas or with one parent born overseas.

For media enquiries please contact Stanton Dunn, Communications, Marketing and Events Manager on 0493 291 699 or


We who have come from many places acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land which always was and always will be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island land. We pay our respects to their Elders throughout all time. We walk together in solidarity of the pain of the past and the shared hope for the future.

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