Diversity in health 2010

Supporting Muslims in Australia

Australia's Muslim communities comprise over 340,000 people. More so than in the UK and other European countries, Muslims in Australia are ethnically, linguistically and culturally diverse.

Challenges facing Muslims in Australia are similar to those faced by earlier waves of migrants; however, marginalisation on the basis of religion, combined with the current international environment, is an additional, more complex issue.

While the majority of Muslim Australians are active participants in broad areas of Australian social and civic life, significant barriers to participation do exist. Racial and religious discrimination against Muslims remains a factor in Australian public life. As with some other population groups, services that do not respond appropriately to the particular needs of Muslim Australians can also present barriers.

To support Muslim communities in Australia, the Australian Government developed the National Action Plan to Build on Social Cohesion, Harmony and Security (NAP). The NAP is a social policy designed to address potential divisions within Australia society, with a particular focus on supporting Muslim participation in Australian society. It includes commissioned research, which aims to provide a better understanding of how life is for Muslims in Australia.

This session looks at some of the findings from the latest commissioned research projects, which looked at issues such as employment and education, how Muslims participate in social, political and civic life, and their relationship to services.

These findings will support academics, policy makers and service providers to better understand and work with Muslim and other diverse communities on a wide range of issues.


Peter van Vliet
Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Sandra Gendera
University of New South Wales
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Michelle Mansfield
University of Newcastle
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Andrew Jakubowicz
University of Technology Sydney
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Pino Migliorino
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Professor Fethi Mansouri
Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation
Deakin University