Melbourne, Jun 19: Australia's Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Evans, met representatives from the Indian community in Melbourne to listen directly to their views on the racial attacks involving Indian students, on Friday, Jun 19.
The Minister reassured the Indian community that the Australian Government welcomes students from India and values their decision in coming to Australia to further their studies.
Australia is a tolerant, multicultural society that prides itself on its diversity and the Rudd Government takes very seriously Australia's reputation as a safe destination for international students seeking high quality education, Evans said.
Nearly 500,000 international students were enrolled in Australian institutions last year, including more than 90,000 students from India.
"All Australians have been shocked and appalled by reports of violence against international students. Such attacks will not be tolerated and the Rudd Government has joined community leaders in condemning these crimes," the minister said.
Evans reassured the community representatives that the reporting of incidents to police would not impact on the visa status of international students.
Australian Prime Minister has established a Taskforce on Crimes Against International Students under the leadership of the National Security Adviser to coordinate action across all levels of government.
Steps have already been taken to increase protection for the student community including increased police operations and public safety information sessions.