Multicultural Affairs is currently reviewing the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission Act 1980, which is our state’s key piece of multicultural legislation.

Since the time of that legislation, South Australia’s population and multicultural landscape has changed significantly.

The review of the Act provides an opportunity to set a foundation for the development of new multicultural policy that reflects the state’s cultural, linguistic and religious diversity, recognises the valuable contribution of our diverse communities, and supports the development of culturally responsive government services.

The legislative review will:

  • explore options for expanding the scope and purpose of the legislation to enshrine multicultural policy directions
  • review the functions and powers of the Commission and ensure its title reflects this
  • review the appointment process of Commission members
  • contemporise the language used in the Act.

Consultation process

To inform the consultation process as part of the review, Multicultural Affairs prepared two papers:

  • a Discussion Paper, which discussed options and posed questions on how best to re-model the legislation for the future
  • a Research Paper, which featured a survey of approaches in other Australian jurisdictions.

Multicultural Legislative Review 2019 Discussion Paper (PDF, 1.2 MB)

Multicultural Legislative Review 2019 Research Paper (PDF, 1.0 MB)

These papers should be read in conjunction with the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission Act 1980.

Multicultural Affairs undertook an extensive community and stakeholder consultation process over seven weeks from 15 April 2019 to 3 June 2019.

Six community forums were held in metropolitan and regional South Australia, as well as a targeted workshop for key stakeholders across business, government and the not-for-profit sector.

South Australians also provided input via written submissions, contributions to an online conversation and responses to a detailed survey on the YourSAy website.

Written Submissions: Multicultural Legislative Review (PDF, 7.8 MB)

This consultation was a critical phase of the review, and the contributions received will inform Multicultural Affairs’ recommendations to government about what changes to the legislation should be considered.

A Consultation Summary is available below.

Consultation Summary: Multicultural Legislative Review (PDF, 1006.9 KB)


The full report will be published here soon, detailing what was heard from the community and stakeholders.

The government received a rich and in-depth set of contributions from communities and key stakeholders during the review consultation period. To ensure careful consideration is given to the diverse views we heard from communities, we look forward to introducing the Bill to Parliament in the new year.

For any enquiries about the review, contact Multicultural Affairs on telephone (08) 8429 5961 or email