Multicultural Australia is distressed and concerned about statements made by the President of the Queensland Police Union in a Courier Mail Opinion Piece (25/10/2023).
As an organisation committed to creating belonging and inclusion for all Australians, we believe in our individual and collective responsibility to strive for justice, equality and reconciliation for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Multicultural Australia CEO Christine Castley says that Mr Leavers’ comments ignore the uncomfortable truth that our First Nations peoples continue to experience the deep and enduring impacts of colonisation, intergenerational trauma and systemic racism resulting in disproportionately higher risks of homelessness, incarceration, unemployment, complex health issues, disrupted education, domestic violence and neglect.
“The lives of some of the most vulnerable in our community, especially our young people, should not be a political game. These comments are divisive and harmful at a time when we should be coming together to work towards reconciliation and healing, and to focus on ways to bring us all together and to heal,” Ms Castley said
Queensland African Communities Council deplores the irresponsible comments made by the President of Queensland Police Union, said, Beny Bol OAM, President of QACC.
“Words from leaders and people in the position of power, influence and authority have profound impact on how we live with and treat each other as citizens,” Mr Bol added. ” We’re all on the journey of healing and recovery with our First Nations people, and we fully echo the statement by Multicultural Australia.”
Multicultural Australia joins with our community services colleagues and QCOSS in condemning the Police Union President’s comments.
We also emphasise the reminder from the Queensland Human Rights Commissioner to media outlets, commentators and people making comments in public spaces (including online) to remember that Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Act makes vilification unlawful – this incudes any public statement that incites hatred, serious contempt or severe ridicule on matters of public interest where the words are delivered in bad faith.