The Australian Psychological Society (APS) welcomes the Victorian Government’s recent announcement of a new Multicultural and Social Cohesion Division.
“Maintaining harmony and promoting social cohesion without compromising our social and religious diversity is important to all of us,” said APS President Professor Michael Kyrios.
“Social divisions impact all the community at varying levels, including levels of wellbeing and mental health.”
He added: “At this time, there are forces trying to divide us. We are being bombarded by dangerous and divisive messages that are creating fear by singling out certain groups as threats. Victorians have traditionally embraced multiculturalism and it’s important for Government and community leaders to build on that history.”
As part of his Presidential Initiative, Professor Kyrios has prioritised addressing social cohesion as one of the major challenges facing Australian society in the 21st Century, along with climate change and community wellbeing. Earlier in the year, Professor Kyrios hosted a Social Cohesion Roundtable, inviting experts from key areas to consider what psychology can contribute to social cohesion.
“At the APS we are focusing on social cohesion as a key priority and in particular identifying evidence-based strategies that can help inform policy and programs.”
“We are delighted to see an agency being set up to take a strategic policy approach to promoting social cohesion and celebrating our multicultural society, and we would welcome the opportunity to collaborate as there are many learnings from psychology that can be applied to bring communities together,” Professor Kyrios emphasised.
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The APS is the largest professional organisation for psychologists in Australia, representing more than 22,000 members. The APS is committed to advancing psychology as a discipline and profession. It spreads the message that psychologists make a difference to people’s lives, through improving psychological knowledge and community wellbeing.