City of Ryde is one of the most diverse communities in Australia. Sadly, racism is still happening in our community and that is not acceptable.
What is racism?
Racism is discrimination based on the colour of someone’s skin, their ethnic background or nationality. It comes in various guises from a casual remark or verbal abuse through to violence or intimidating behaviour. Even excluding people based on their ethnicity is a form of racism.
What has Council been doing to prevent racism?
Council does not tolerate racism. Through the Racism. It Stops with Me campaign, we have been actively promoting community awareness on racism, and how to identify and call out racism for a better and safer community.
We also want to better understand the experience of discrimination and racism among international students within our community. An investigation on this area was conducted in 2019 in partnership with Macquarie University. The research outcome is expected to be published later in 2020.
City of Ryde is also committed to supporting refugees settling in our community. In 2018, The City of Ryde Mayor, Clr Jerome Laxale, signed the Refugee Welcome Scroll, which was established by the Refugee Council of Australia and Rural Australians for Refugees. Refugees in Ryde can receive assistance through a number of programs designed to help them settle into their new Australian life.
We also celebrate the diversity of our local community by running Harmony Day, a festival that embraces the cultural richness within City of Ryde. This event is co-hosted with the Community Migrant Resource Centre.
Our Multicultural Advisory Committee also provides advice to Council to ensure that City of Ryde’s Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) residents can actively participate in all aspects of community and civic life.
What can you do to stop racism?
You've probably heard or seen racist behaviour before but may not have known how to respond or even felt comfortable in saying something. Taking a stance against racism is a powerful sign of support to the target of racist behaviour and can make the perpetrator reconsider their actions. While you shouldn't put yourself at risk, there are actions you can take that do not involve confrontation.
- Say something if it feels safe to do so.
- Tell someone responsible such as a bus driver or a security guard depending on the situation.
- Support the target of the abuse by sitting or standing next to them and checking if they're okay.
- Call the police if you believe that you or someone else may be in danger.