Last night Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs Giulia Jones met with leaders from multicultural and indigenous communities to discuss the recent rise in verbal racial abuse in Canberra.
“For each person who raises their voice, many stay silent because they don’t know how to report or who to discuss it with. There is fear that no one will defend them and a deep seated belief that they are alone,” Mrs Jones said.
“An African-Canberran has had rocks thrown at his window and told to get out of his apartment block because he would spread covid to everyone else, and Indigenous Canberrans have said they are followed around supermarkets like they will steal something.
“Many believe it's better to stay silent because there is an underlying belief that nothing will be done about it. Newer Australians often think that to be accepted here they have to put up with the abuse silently.
“This is not the Canberra any of us want.
One of the community leaders who attended the roundtable spoke about the lack of government support for those experiencing racism in our community.
“These leaders have made it very clear that this Labor-Greens Government is not supporting them. There is no clear information about services that these communities can turn to.
“The community wants clear, translatable information about how to raise these issues in the ACT.
“It is time for a greater conversation about this issue. We need to work together to bring this behaviour out into the open to address it effectively,” Mrs Jones concluded.