New project funding to support multicultural communities to combat racism
The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission’s important work to combat racism will continue in 2020 through a new collaboration with the Victorian Multicultural Commission, part of an $11.3 million Victorian Government funding package to support multicultural and multifaith communities.
8 May 2020
“Victoria’s multicultural and multifaith communities have made – and continue to make – an invaluable contribution to the vitality of Victoria’s culture and economy, so we are thrilled to be joining with the Victorian Multicultural Commission to provide further support and education for Victorians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds,” said Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton.
Through education and awareness-raising initiatives, the collaboration will focus on helping members of Victoria’s diverse multicultural and multifaith communities understand their rights, navigate Victoria’s anti-discrimination laws and make a complaint if they experience racism – an issue that has been in the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In Victoria and across the country, we’ve been hearing about an alarming rise in instances of racism directed towards people from Asian backgrounds,” said Commissioner Hilton. “Racism is not just divisive and misplaced; it’s also against the law. And no one should have to put up with it.”
This initiative builds on many successful programs run by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and the Victorian Multicultural Commission. A recent example is our Reducing Racism project, which engaged members of Victoria’s African and Muslim communities to help them understand and exercise their rights.
“Knowing how the law protects you and where you can seek support if you’ve been discriminated against, subjected to hate or treated unfairly is essential for every member of the community to feel safe, respected and supported,” said Commissioner Hilton. “Through our Reducing Racism project, we combined tailored education sessions, digital storytelling and an easy-to-use Community Reporting Tool to make it easier for people to report experiences of racism.”
The collaboration between the two Commissions complements the Victorian Government’s Stronger Together campaign, focused on showing solidarity with Chinese communities and recognising the contribution they make to Victoria.
Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence said this project funding was vital to make sure multicultural communities have the support and the essentials they need to get through COVID-19. “We know that multicultural communities face unique challenges throughout the pandemic – that’s why this package of support is so important,” Minister Spence said.
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