There are over 3 million migrant women in Australia
We are doctors and nurses, cleaners, childcare educators, scientists and teachers. We work in every industry and live in almost every town. We are part of Australia and our voices are important in deciding Australia’s future.
We have families and loved ones that depend on us, at home and overseas. We have dreams and hopes for our future, and for the future of our children. We have values that we hold dear and we have lived experiences that have shaped our stance.
In making the commitment to be a citizen, we agreed to help be the keepers of Australia’s future, to play our role in shaping a country that we can all be proud to call home. Australia is a shared dream and part of that dream is our democratic system.
Our hopes for Australia include:
- Leadership that promotes love and respect, where diversity is championed and everyone gets an opportunity to participate
- A healthcare system that looks after us when we are most vulnerable and is responsive to our cultural and linguistic needs
- A fair, efficient and effective migration system, where no one is permanently temporary and an end to the citizenship backlogs
- A zero-tolerance stance on violence against women and children and support systems to help women from migrant and refugee backgrounds (no matter their visa type)
- A system that enables our full participation in social and economic life, including access to English language learning, employment support and skills recognition.
In the lead up to the 2019 federal election, the Harmony Alliance is calling on all women from migrant and refugee backgrounds to use the power of our votes
Voting in elections is an opportunity for women from migrant and refugee backgrounds to have a say about who makes decisions on our behalf. Harmony Votes calls on women from migrant and refugee backgrounds to exercise active citizenship. Active citizenship means being involved in making society a better place – paying attention to issues that affect us, our families and our communities, and working for change.
Voting in elections is a key part of being an active citizen. In Australia, there are three levels of government elected at regular intervals: federal, state or territory, and local. Each level is responsible for different issues, and can make laws about these. However, some responsibilities are shared, such as roads, environmental management and public health issues.
You can find out more about the governments in your state or territory here
Understand the levels of government
Not eligible to vote?
Even if you’re not a citizen yet, it is still important to understand how Australia’s democracy and voting systems work. You still participate in civic life. Understanding elections and what motivates political parties can help you to drive change.
The material on this website draws on resources and publications of the Australian Electoral Commission, Women’s Electoral Lobby and the Centre for Multicultural Youth.
Harmony Votes is an initiative of the Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change, Australia’s national migrant and refugee women’s coalition, in partnership with the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council (NEMBC).