Tag Archive: racism

  1. Feature article on Indianlink.com.au

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    Amplifying community voices on anti-racism

    Anti-racism ambassadors to educate community on advocacy techniques and strategies to help combat racism

    In a new initiative to raise anti-racism awareness, Melbourne’s Eastern Community Legal Centre (ECLC) is supporting culturally and linguistically diverse community leaders to become Anti-racism Ambassadors.

    It launched the ‘Amplifying Community Voices in the East’ (ACVE) program last year in partnership with the organisations IndianCare, the Centre for Holistic Health and The Communities’ Council on Ethnic Issues (CCOEI).

    The project supports community leaders by means of workshops focussing on challenging racism and sharing their voices and experiences of racial discrimination.

    While racism can be both obvious and insidious, a toxic societal disease that impacts all ages, genders, faiths and ethnicities, voicing experiences of individuals subject to racism helps others understand what’s unacceptable.

    At ACVE, the capacity building sessions were provided by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) and Democracy in Colour over the course of a year, and were developed in consultation with the leaders, providing them with knowledge on Australia’s Human Rights Framework, advocacy techniques and using their knowledge and lived experiences to speak out against racism. The participants developed strategies to help combat racism.

    Late in August, ECLC hosted an event to showcase its work on the ACVE project, coordinate a panel discussion with the ACVE Anti-racism Ambassadors, and to officially launch the Voices for Change – Action against Racism video (available here).

    A panel discussion with the five ACVE Anti-racism Ambassadors, Dr Chris Mallika Bhadra, Eva Lam, Dr. Neha Gogia (based in India), Ritu Dahiya and Houng Yu Ngee, facilitated by Saarah Ozeer from CCOEI provided the perfect platform for the community leaders to share their thoughts and personal experiences with the project and engage in dialogue with the community.

    The video offers education on what discrimination is and what a potential victim can do to address their concerns as it takes viewers through a scenario involving possible racial discrimination. The video will be available in select translations.

    ECLC CEO Michael Smith believes the project presents a great opportunity for leaders within the community to be equipped and empower others to challenge racism and amplify diverse voices across Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

    “These leaders are experts on their community and their experiences of racism. Rather than speaking for them, we’re working together to amplify their own voices and influence positive change.” “The project builds on the close connections and trust that ECLC has built with diverse cultural and faith communities over many years”, he added.

    The core focus of the video is to educate community members on how to identify and report incidents of racial or religious discrimination or vilification.

    Dilnaz Bilimoria, community volunteer for CCOEI reminded attendees of the “need to educate all Australians to stand up and speak out about racist experiences”.

    “It is our responsibility to build capacity in people to have the confidence to address these issues immediately so that victims are not disadvantaged in the community,” she said.

    Dr Bhadra believes the project presented an important opportunity to raise the issue of racism for those who may not otherwise have a voice. “I want to create a platform for people who can’t speak for themselves, as racism is a big issue. If I can just help amplify the voice of just one person, I feel something is accomplished.”

    This project was funded by a grant from the Victorian Government “to increase cross-cultural understanding and fight racist attitudes and behaviours.” The Anti-Racism Ambassadors have now completed their training and look forward to participating in other speaking events organised across Melbourne’s East advocating for change.

    Paul Hamer MP (Victorian Member for Box Hill) commended the project participants and reminded us that “combatting racism requires strong advocates.”

    “It has been great to see how the ECLC’s Amplifying Community Voices in the East program has been able to build the capacity of community leaders from our culturally diverse communities to become Anti-racism Ambassadors,” he added.

    Under Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act, and Victoria’s Equal Opportunity Act, it is unlawful to engage in acts involving racial or religious vilification. If you believe you have been subject to racial abuse, VEOHRC can help. The Commission can offer you free information about your rights and help you to resolve complaints within their jurisdiction. If you need extra help, they can refer you to the right organisations or guide you in the right direction.


    You can read the original article here 

  2. Radio Eastern – Amplifying Community Voices in the east (ACVE) Interview

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    On the 13th July 2022, ECLC’s Anti Racism advocates from the Amplifying Community Voices in the East (ACVE) project were interviewed on live radio. The two advocates Eva and Ritu had the opportunity to share their heart about the Anti-racism project, ACVE. Capella Henderson, the Project Lead was also interviewed with the pair.

    You can listen to the recorded interview here. Special thanks to host, Richard Arthur from Radio Eastern 98.1FM  

  3. Bringing together community to challenge racism in Melbourne’s East

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    Eastern Community Legal Centre (ECLC) has welcomed new funding to support their work with local community groups to challenge racism and amplify diverse voices across Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. This builds on many years of work with diverse cultural and faith communities.

    The ‘Amplifying Community Voices in the East’ partnership will work closely with both established and newly arrived migrants and refugees to educate and share stories around racism and what we can do locally to support community members from diverse cultural and faith backgrounds.

    Project partners include Eastern Community Legal Centre, the Centre for Holistic Health (CHH), IndianCare, and Communities’ Council on Ethnic Issues (CCOEI). The partnership will also work with Democracy in Colour to create a bespoke training program with local community leaders around the issues that matter to them.

    L-R: Iresha Buthgamuwa (ECLC), Michael Smith (ECLC), Paul Hamer MP, Donna Askew (ECLC), Wilfred Wang (CHH), Dilnaz Billimoria (CCOEI), Saarah Ozeer (CCOEI), Jaya Manchikanti (IndianCare Inc), Emma O’Brien (ECLC)

    This grant forms part of the Victorian Government’s $3.8 million packages to increase cross-cultural understanding and fight racist attitudes and behaviours.

    Member for Box Hill, Paul Hamer MP, made the announcement on Friday at the Box Hill Town Hall.

    “I’m excited to announce this local anti-racism grant with organisations whose work makes a huge difference to our diverse and multicultural communities in Whitehorse and throughout the eastern suburbs.”

    Eastern Community Legal Centre CEO, Michael Smith, said “The Victorian Government is a strong supporter of community diversity and we look forward to working with the Centre for Holistic Health, IndianCare, CCOEI and others to collaborate on this important issue.”

    The Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs, The Hon Ros Spence, said “Racism has no place in Victoria. Tackling it head-on is vital to building a stronger, fairer society.”

    See the full list of recipients. vic.gov.au/local-anti-racism-initiatives-grants-program.