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Helen Kapalos on social unity in multicultural Victoria

  • Date recorded: 19 Feb 2016

  • Duration: 28:53

'The right to belong is a fundamental aspect of how we should view our community going forward'

– Helen Kapalos

About this video

With citizens from 200 countries, 260 languages and 135 faiths, Melbourne is the capital of the most culturally diverse state in Australia.

As Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC), Helen Kapalos believes that we all have the right to belong in our community, to be proud of our religious and cultural diversity, and to feel safe. In this insightful and thought-provoking discussion, she provides background into the VMC and its role as the voice of our culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Key to her discussion is her belief that young people hold the key to communal transformation, as they are generally more accepting of diversity. She also highlights the power of small groups to achieve change, ending with a quote from cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead: never doubt that a small group of concerned citizens can change the world.

This talk was held at the State Library on Monday 16 November 2015, as part of the Big Ideas under the Dome series. These talks bring together great minds in the arts, culture, social justice and sciences to reflect on the big ideas and issues of our time.


Helen Kapalos is an accomplished journalist, presenter, executive producer and filmmaker who has worked for Australia's three commercial television networks and the two public broadcasters. A proud Greek Australian, Ms Kapalos is passionate about supporting Victoria’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Prior to joining the Victorian Multicultural Commission, she worked in a number of philanthropic roles including Director at the Heart Foundation, Director of Federation Square, Ambassador for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation and Ambassador with Community Languages Australia.