Multicultural Australia stands in solidarity with Queensland’s African communities
5 August 2020 | Media Releases
Multicultural Australia stands with Queenslanders from African backgrounds and calls on all of us across all communities to speak out against racism and abuse directed at members of the African community following the alleged breach of Coronavirus restrictions by two young women.
It is right that people are held to account for their actions, and the two women are facing criminal charges. But we must hold ourselves to our own standards of acceptable community behaviour. Racism, racial vilification and threats of abuse and violence are not standards that Australia has ever condoned. Nor should we condone those behaviours now as we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, when community unity and solidarity is needed more than ever.
Multicultural Australia echoes the concerns of the Queensland Human Rights Commission that the names and photographs of the two young women accused of breaching Queensland’s coronavirus restrictions have been published by media outlets. Many other Queenslanders have breached these rules without being publicly identified or vilified.
Queensland’s African communities have worked tirelessly to support the community response to this extraordinary and challenging pandemic since it began. They have worked with the Queensland Government, Queensland Health, the Queensland Police Service as well as community agencies across Queensland, helping to distribute information, raise awareness and educate the public about how to respond to COVID-19. Now, they are being subjected to cyberbullying, harassment and abuse from people who should know better; people who can do better.
Australia is a proud multicultural nation and Queensland is a vibrant, welcoming, diverse state. All Queenslanders have a right to belong and feel safe in this community we call home.
We invite all Queenslanders to stand in solidarity with Queenslanders from African backgrounds. It is our responsibility to raise our voices for the safe, welcoming, inclusive, multicultural Australia we are. We are stronger together.
If you have witnessed or experienced racially-motivated abuse or harassment, you can report it to the Queensland Human Rights Commission on their website at www.qhrc.qld.gov.au.
Sarah Pember, Communications Manager
SarahP@multiculturalaustralia.org.au | 0422 089 628