Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

In light of recent ugly events including anti-Muslim rallies and the racial vilification of Adam Goodes, one Melbourne community is seeking to inspire others to take anti-racist action at a grass-roots level. A community forum to be held in Preston on Thursday will hear from Indigenous, Muslim and African speakers about the impact of racism and gather ideas from the broader community about creative ways in which to challenge it.

The Darebin says no to racism event, to be facilitated by Rev Ian Smith from the Victorian Council of Churches, is supported by Darebin City Council as part of Community Safety Month. It will hear from Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Robin Scott and be attended by new Victorian Multicultural Commissioner Helen Kapolos.

The forum is a joint initiative of the Darebin Ethnic Communities Council (DECC) and Voices against Bigotry (VAB). Co-founder of VAB, Susie Latham, said “Victoria is a great example of a successful and proud multicultural and multi-faith community. We have all benefitted enormously from the richness brought by different cultures and religions and we shouldn’t allow unrepresentative voices to threaten this.”

DECC chairman, Nalliah Suriyakumaran said, “DECC is committed to social inclusion and harmony. We celebrate the contributions diverse communities have made to Darebin and stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow community members in opposition to any bigotry, racial or religious.”

The forum will invite community members to join a working group to implement suggestions to combat racism, including the creation of an anti-racist sticker to be distributed to local shops and homes. 

Darebin says no to racism, 6.30 - 8.30pm, Thursday 29 October, Acacia room, Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre, cnr Bell St and St Georges Rd, Preston

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Voices against Bigotry

Voices against Bigotry is a group of Australians concerned about the increase of Islamophobia in this country and internationally. It is not aligned to a political party and was founded by academic researcher Susie Latham and Human Rights Professor Linda Briskman in consultation with various groups and individuals, including members of the Muslim community. The Voices against Bigotry network has active members across Australia. 

Susie Latham
P: 0412 641 695
M: 0412 641 695
W: www.voicesagainstbigotry.org

Darebin Ethnic Communties Council

The Darebin Ethnic Communities Council (DECC) is the peak body for ethnic communities within the Darebin municipality in the State of Victoria. The City of Darebin is one of the most culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse municipalities within Australia. It is also home to the second largest community of Aboriginal people in Australia.

DECC’s membership reflects the spectrum of groups, clubs, associations and individuals of cultural, linguistic and religious diversity from the ethnic communities residing in and connecting to Darebin; and encompasses the long established migrants and their descendants, the smaller and marginalised communities, emerging communities and newly arriving groups. The latter includes refugees, asylum seekers, international students and the transient population of long-term visitors with working holiday visas.

As of November 2014, the DECC membership numbers 116 member organisations, groups, clubs and associations within the City of Darebin. In addition many local individuals from diverse backgrounds have also joined our mailing lists as supporters of DECC and are often involved as volunteers and participants at DECC events.


Nalliah Suriyakumaran
P: 0468 330 113
W: decc.org.au


Islamophobia Muslims racism Indigenous Aboriginal "Adam Goodes" African diversity bigotry "social inclusion" multicultural interfaith community "Darebin Ethnic Communities Council" "Voices against Bigotry" safety




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