Like Amanda I find it difficult to nominate 2 issues, but for the sake of this discussion:

1. Religion, secularism & culture – since 2001, intercultural relations have often been reframed as interfaith relations, as seen in the spectacular rise of interfaith dialogue initiatives. The obvious subtext here is anxiety about Islam and Muslims in ‘secular’ Western societies (that are nonetheless founded on Christian traditions). This desecularisation of multiculturalism has received virtually no critical analysis. To criticise interfaith dialogue seems akin to criticising motherhood or friendship. But are cultural tensions in Australia based on religious differences? What is achieved by interfaith dialogue and what is left out of the discussion? And how should secular societies respond to the growing political assertiveness of religious groups – both Muslim & Christian?

2. Government multicultural policy – there seems a need for scholars to more actively engage in the processes of policy development & analysis around cultural diversity, particularly with the end of the long dark Howard era. The Rudd Government has already made some interesting decisions, e.g. abolishing TPVs, and appears to be reviewing some of its predecessors’ agendas, e.g. the citizenship test & the ‘Living in Harmony’ program. What changes are possible in this new era?