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
Darebin Ethnic Communties Council
P: 0468 330 113
Voices against Bigotry
P: 0412 641 695
M: 0412 641 695