CEO Message: 'Our collective efforts to fight against racism and discrimination have never been more urgent'

August 15, 2018

Like many others we are appalled and disgusted by the comments made by Queensland Senator Fraser Anning yesterday in regards to Australia’s immigration policy.

We are a nation built on migration and our success is based on the bipartisan support for a non-discriminatory immigration policy. We applaud the Australian Government for this morning moving a motion that acknowledges the historic action of dismantling the White Australia Policy; and recognises, since 1973, the bipartisan support for a racially non-discriminatory policy to the benefit of all Australia.

It is timely that the Australian Human Rights Commission this week released its report on the activities of the National Anti-Racism Strategy, Anti-Racism in 2018 and Beyond (2018). As Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane says in the introduction: “Since 2015, race has dominated headlines and driven public debates... Globally, the rise of anti-immigrant populism has fuelled racism. Australia has not been immune from this. While our multicultural consensus remains strong, it has been challenged by some.”

We are all too aware of the frustrations and distress experienced by young people and their communities, and know the devastating impact of the kind of hatred displayed in Mr Anning’s disgraceful speech.

While there have been some successes over recent years, there is so much more work to be done. But we are also heartened by the outpouring of support from the Australian community, by those who are taking action – whether by speaking out against racism, putting up their hand to volunteer in one of our programs, or simply taking the time to listen with empathy to the voices of those affected.

For CMY, for the young people we work alongside, and for the future of our multicultural country – our collective efforts to fight against racism and discrimination have never been more important, or more urgent, than today.

Carmel Guerra, CEO