Mayor Pleads: End Racism with Manningham Council

Manningham Council

More than 43 per cent of Manningham residents are born overseas yet dishearteningly many still face racism and discrimination in their daily lives.

Mayor, Deirdre Diamante is calling on the Manningham community to take an active role in ending racism - not just today (International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination), but every day.

"At Council, we work closely with people from all over our community; we hear their stories and directly see the terrible impacts of racism - it needs to end"

The impacts of racism are immense. Individuals may experience a lack of confidence, sadness, anger and depression. They may also experience physical symptoms such as headaches, an increased heart rate and muscle tension. They may no longer want to go to school, be able to perform as well at work or feel comfortable trusting people outside their family. These impacts often extend to affect the broader community.

"If you live in Manningham, it is highly likely that you have been impacted because you are from a multicultural background or have friends, family members and colleagues who are," the Mayor said.

"We are proud of our multicultural community and the respect shown among many residents but equally devastated that many of the people we care for still face racism and discrimination.

"When racial tensions develop, they don't just affect one or two of us - they affect us all and diminish our community's harmony and health."

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is an opportunity for us to pause and consider how we can make Manningham safer and more welcoming for everyone who calls it home.

"When we were developing our Council Plan, the community made it clear that building a connected and inclusive community is important to them.

"Racism divides us and we're working to tackle this issue but everyone has a role to play. Join forces with us and end racism; call it out, report it, talk about it. Let's vocalise and normalise that racism is not tolerated here." Mayor Diamante said.

Council is delivering its commitment to reducing racism through several actions, including:

  • Endorsing the Welcoming City framework that supports local governments in advancing communities where everyone can belong and participate in social, cultural, economic, and civic life.
  • We have developed a Reconciliation Action Plan for 2023-2025 that maps out what actions the council will take to advance reconciliation in the workplace and across the municipality, including addressing race relations.
  • Establishing a Multicultural Communities Advisory Committee to advise the council on items of importance to multicultural communities, including addressing barriers to participation, such as racism.
  • Establishing the Manningham Multicultural Network to build stronger relationships between multicultural community leaders and the council.
  • Hosting Welcome events for international students to link them into their immediate communities and services.
  • Supporting people from the community when they make contact to report racism, including training customer service teams to support individuals impacted by racism.
  • Installing 30 Racism Not Welcome street signs in popular community areas to acknowledge that racism exists, normalise conversations about racism, and send a strong message that racism is not welcome in Manningham.

Mayor Diamante encourages anyone who has experienced racism or religious discrimination to access support resources and tools from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission or use the Community Reporting Tool to make a report.

For those who need support to report racism or discuss their options, the Social Planning and Community Strengthening team at Manningham Council is available to help. If the matter is urgent and you are in danger, please call Victoria Police on 000.

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