The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) has welcomed the statement today by Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs the Hon. Alan Tudge in support of Asian Australians who have experienced racist attacks in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
FECCA has been made aware of a big spike in racist attacks through its member organisations and via social media since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.
In the statement, Mr Tudge said he was appalled by these acts of racism and that “no person, no family, no community should have to put up with this behaviour”.
Mr Tudge also encouraged victims of racist acts to report those attacks and asked that Australians call out racist behaviour when they see it – sentiments that FECCA wholeheartedly shares.
In February FECCA called for the establishment of a specific COVID-19 national anti-racism strategy and campaign designed to address the rising tide of subtle racism and discrimination in the community.
Today, FECCA Chairperson Mary Patetsos offered to work with the Federal Government on such a strategy.
“A national anti-racism strategy and campaign is needed now more than ever,” she said.
“We are at a tipping point and unfortunately the coronavirus is being used by some as an excuse to express racist attitudes.
“The community is looking to all levels of governments for leadership to address this issue.
“As a nation we need to make it clear to every one of our citizens that racist behaviour is not tolerated in the community, and we need to educate people about the damage and extreme hurt that racism causes.
“An anti-racism campaign would both tackle existing issues around racism and be a positive action we can take as a society to promote community cohesion into the future.
“FECCA welcomes the Minister’s comments today and we look forward to supporting the Federal Government in their effort to address this growing concern in the community.”