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New dawn begins with Sunshine Coast anti-racism initiative

Sunshine Coast Council has called on the local community to stand together as one and help shine a light on racism in a new regional, anti-racism campaign.

Mayor Mark Jamieson strongly supports the Shine a Light on Racism campaign and encourages others to do the same.

“The Sunshine Coast has diverse and rich First Nations and multicultural populations and it’s really important that each and every one of us is welcoming and respectful to others, irrespective of background,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“This campaign calls on the community to stand up against racism in their everyday lives and pause and reflect on what it means to take personal responsibility to become anti-racist.

“It’s an uncomfortable conversation to have, but we all have a responsibility to ensure our region, which has been renowned for its welcoming and friendly nature, remains rich and diverse and everyone can feel safe from discrimination.

Shine a Light on Racism will feature freely available and unbranded marketing content, posters, videos and more, with the hope to generate widespread community awareness on the importance of being proudly anti-racist.”

Sunshine Coast Council Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said racism had no place anywhere or anytime in our community and in particular not here on the Sunshine Coast. “All forms of racism are deeply hurtful and damaging to individuals and communities,” Cr Law said.

“As a part of council’s Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041, we are committed to creating a strong community that is connected, inclusive and cohesive. 

“I hope this encourages community members to address racism in all its forms, and to shine a light on it.”

Shine a Light on Racism Patron and Sunshine Coast Multicultural Advisory Group member Walters Nkemfack said the campaign was a welcome step for the Sunshine Coast.

“I am excited for this campaign to shine a light on the impact that everyday racism has on members of our community,” Mr Nkemfack said.

“The consequences of racism run deep and can have devasting impacts on individuals and their communities.

“For me, the psychological impact of racism is torturous and that is what sticks out most for myself and my community.

“The tolerance of small, everyday microaggressions or when people say ‘that’s not racist’ is damaging and exhausting.

“I am hopeful this campaign will contribute to eliminating all forms of racism, so everyone can feel safe, equal and valued.”

SHINE A LIGHT ON RACISM CAMPAIGN PATRONS

Caroline Hutchinson OAM, Mix FM Breakfast Presenter

Kate Walsh, Sunshine Coast Lightning Player

Walters Nkemfack, Multicultural Advisory Group Member & committee member of African Diaspora Sunshine Coast

Vicki Qiu, Multicultural Advisory Group Member & Host of HER Festival

Christine Thomas, First Nations Advocate & CEO for Cygnet Centre for Peacebuilding & Transformation.

Peppi Bueti, Multicultural Advisory Group Member & Director Sunny Communication Group

Ashley Robinson OAM, CEO Alexandra Headland Surf Lifesaving Club

FAST FACTS

  • Nearly 6,000 people identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander on the Sunshine Coast
  • One in five people on the Sunshine Coast was born overseas
  • Over 45 different faiths are practised on the Sunshine Coast
  • More than 150 different languages are spoken on the Sunshine Coast.*

DID YOU KNOW?

  • 20 per cent of Australians have experienced racial or religious discrimination during the past 12 months**
  • 86 per cent of Australians support action to tackle racism
  • Nearly 20 per cent of Australians speak a language other than English at home
  • Around one in three (35 per cent) recent migrants said they faced hurdles in finding their first job. Of those who experienced difficulties:
    • 64 per cent reported a lack of Australian work experience or references
    • 23 per cent reported a lack of local contacts or networks
    • 15 per cent had difficulties having their skills or qualifications recognised.***

HOW YOU CAN DO THE WORK

Discover three things you can do today: 

  1. UPLOAD: a supporter video or post online and take the pledge to #DoTheWork
  2. EDUCATE: commit to educating yourself and others about the impacts of racism
  3. ENGAGE: visit council’s website and engage with unbranded resources to Shine a Light on Racism

For more information and to download free Shine a Light on Racism assets, visit council’s Have Your Say website or contact council’s Community Development Officer on 5441 8385 or commdevelopment@sunshinecoast.qld.edu.au.

*Source: https://www.abs.gov.au/census/find-census-data/quickstats/2016/316

**Source: https://scanlonfoundation.org.au/archived-research/mapping-social-cohesion-survey-2016/

***Source: https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/education/face-facts-cultural-diversity

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