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Hugh Jackman in the 'Spirit of Australia' Campaign. Qantas.

Hugh Jackman and Qantas Ask Australians to Stand Up for Diversity

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Australia is a country that espouses multiculturalism. Global Citizen campaigns on the UN Global Goals, including promoting diversity, inclusion, and acceptance for all. You can take action to call on new Prime Minister Scott Morrison to work toward a better Australia here.

Australians pride themselves on their cultural diversity, passion, generosity, and multiculturalism.

However, in a time of stringent immigration policies and bigoted politicians — and where the nationwide power structure is nowhere near as diverse as the country at large — it seems Australians could do with being reminded of the importance of diversity to national life.

Take Action: Call on new Prime Minister Scott Morrison to work towards a better Australia.

It is this notion that spurred Qantas, Australia’s national airline, to launch their Stand Up for the Spirit of Australia campaign.

Asking Australians to "stand up" for equality in Qantas' 60-second campaign video is Australian actor Hugh Jackman and Australian of the Year Adam Goodes, as well as athletes from religious minorities, Paralympians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activists, and same-sex couples. 

“The Spirit of Australia: It connects us no matter where we were born, how we look, or how we live,” Jackman proudly announces in the video. “Our spirit is about standing for what's right, standing up for a fair go, and about standing up for those who can't.”

The video is the latest promotional move in Qantas’ long-standing support for equality. The airline has consistently promoted the inclusion of women within traditionally male-dominated aviation jobs, and has long supported Indigenous reconciliation and same-sex marriage. The video will feature across Qantas social media channels, onboard Qantas flights, and throughout the media channels of various sporting bodies.

“We carry over 50 million people a year from all walks of life. And we have over 30,000 people working at Qantas who represent a cross section of the community,” Qantas group executive Vanessa Hudson stated. “We don’t all think, look, or act the same and that’s a huge asset. This video is about celebrating the strength that comes from diversity and why it’s one of the great things about the kind of place Australia is.”

For AFL champion and Indigenous role model Goodes, the campaign promotes and uplifts the voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; something that is unfortunately uncommon within Australian society. 

“As a Qantas Ambassador since 2013 I continue to proudly stand up with Qantas and support their commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in Australia and celebrating the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people this great nation,” he stated.

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Despite the fact that those from Indigenous and non-European backgrounds represent 24% of the Australian population, a 2018 report entitled 'Leading for Change: A Blueprint for Cultural Diversity and Inclusive Leadership Revisited' revealed such backgrounds account for just 5% of senior leadership roles.  

In what is the most extensive study of Australia’s multiculturalism to date, the Australian Human Rights Commission report examined the backgrounds of over 2,400 senior directors and leaders across academia, business, and government.

The report further revealed 94% of the Australian Parliament is of Anglo-Celtic or European heritage. This makes Australia’s Parliament whiter than the British Parliament and the United States Congress, where 8% and 19% of lawmakers identify as racial or ethnic minorities, respectively.

“The statistics are frankly dismal,” Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane announced. “These are not what you’d expect from one of the world’s greatest multicultural countries. To address this issue, we need to demand leaders and organisations take committed action in three areas: leadership, systems, and culture.”

“In a society where nearly one-quarter is estimated to have a non-European or Indigenous background, the findings of our latest study challenge us to do better with our multiculturalism and diversity.”