Minister unveils Melbourne’s revitalised cultural precincts
Minister Nicholas Kotsiras wishes everyone a happy ‘multicultural’ Christmas.
Thursday, 20 December 2012
Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Nicholas Kotsiras officially launched the final component of a four-year, $10.2 million joint project between the Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne to upgrade the city’s much-loved cultural precincts.
The fund has covered the revitalisation of key laneways, street beautification, art work, landscaping and lighting as well as promoting the historical and cultural links to the migrant communities.
The project has revitalised Chinatown, Carlton’s Lygon Street and the Greek precinct of Little Lonsdale Street.
Mr Kotsiras paid tribute to those migrants who settled in Melbourne’s three key cultural precincts with snapshots of the cultural history and colourful characters of these important migrant precincts.
Mr Kotsiras said the precincts exemplified Victoria’s history of welcoming and embracing multiculturalism.
“The Victorian Government believes that recognising and supporting the multicultural heritage of diverse citizens, who have helped build this State and nation, has led to a more unified and cohesive society,” Mr Kotsiras said.
“Melbourne’s Chinatown has been a thriving precinct since the Gold Rush era, and its enduring popularity is a testament to the vitality of our State’s significant Chinese community.
“Lonsdale Street has been the heart of Victoria’s Greek community for decades. The restaurants, cafés and music stores that line the precinct created a home away from home for Greek migrants, many of whom came to Melbourne after World War II.”
Mr Kotsiras said the Italian Cultural Precinct provided a fascinating window into the history of the characters and landmarks that shaped Lygon Street in Carlton into the historic heartland of Melbourne’s Italian community
“The stories of these landmarks and the characters who shaped the precinct are fascinating. They are part of Victoria’s rich migrant history, and they are stories that deserve to be shared,” Mr Kotsiras said.
“Visitors to the area will be able to be transported back in time, to learn about the history of the buildings, shops, restaurants and the people who have made this neighbourhood what it is today.
“As Victorians, these areas are close to all of our hearts, as a place to eat, to socialise, and to experience the cultural diversity that we are so privileged to experience and enjoy here in this State.”
Mr Kotsiras thanked representatives from the Chinese, Greek and Italian communities, and local traders for their enthusiastic involvement in the project.
“Melbourne, and indeed the entire State of Victoria, is home to well-established and fast-growing migrant communities, that have greatly enriched every aspect of life in this State and have become an integral part of our harmonious, multicultural society,” Mr Kotsiras said.
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