Over the last few months, I've had the privilege of working with the Inner West Multicultural Network on one of its latest initiatives, a campaign called Racism Not Welcome. At next Tuesday's Inner West Council meeting, I'll be tabling the following motion to seek Council's endorsement for this campaign, including the installation of new street signs in key areas.
L-R: Craig Foster, Mel Ree, Pauline Lockie, Kween G, Rosanna Barbero, Juliana Jamaluddin, Olivia Wilson-Zarganis
NOTICE OF MOTION: RACISM NOT WELCOME CAMPAIGN
1. Notes the alarming rise in incidents of racism in our society and in many other countries;
2. Endorses the “Racism Not Welcome” campaign developed by the Inner West Multicultural Network (IWMN), of which Inner West Council is a member;
3. Supports the instalment of up to 40 “Racism Not Welcome” street signs in key locations around the Inner West as part of this campaign;
4. Works with the IWMN to install the “Racism Not Welcome” street signs, noting that the Network has allocated a budget of $9,000 to fund the campaign;
5. Notes that the IWMN aims to promote our LGA as a model for other Councils to emulate for community engagement in tackling social problems such as racism.
The Inner West Multicultural Network (IWMN) is an independent network of government and non-government service providers and organisations that works with, advocates for and supports people from multicultural communities in the Inner West LGA.
The purpose of the IWMN is to work in partnership with others to identify and address issues of community need. The IWMN works from a community development lens which aims to empower communities to achieve a just and equal society.
The IWMN ‘Racism NOT Welcome’ campaign emerged as a response to an increase in racist attacks on people in our communities. There is research-based evidence for the rise in racism, including reports published by UTS and UNSW, and Per Capita and the Asian-Australian Alliance.
The aim of the campaign is to create:
- An Inner West where racism is not welcome. A place with strong social cohesion where racism is ‘called out’.
- A place where people feel a sense of belonging and are equal.
- A place where decision making is shared, and diversity is valued and celebrated.
- Through the street sign element of the campaign: a call to action for other Councils, and to encourage the local community to have these important if difficult conversations and call out racism when they see it.
As part of the campaign, IWMN will also:
- Create branded “Racism Not Welcome” stickers and posters that businesses and individuals can use to spread the word, and demonstrate their own commitment to calling out racism
- Produce a video portraying real experiences of racism and racial discrimination
- Work with the local Aboriginal community and exploring opportunities for Truth-Telling projects
- Hold an art exhibition featuring local artists using the anti-racism theme
- Hold an event on 21 March 2021 for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- Facilitate bystander action training and toolkits.
In relation to the “Racism Not Welcome” street signs, my initial discussions with Council officers indicate there are minimal barriers to installing such signs, as long as they don’t interfere with road or pedestrian safety.
For this reason, I have proposed that Council works with the IWMN to ensure these signs are placed in appropriate locations. The IWMN has prepared an initial list of locations (see below), which will be finalised pending approval from Council.
Inner West Council and the previous Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville Councils have a long history of standing against all forms of racism, and this motion would further exemplify our commitment and leadership in this area.
Concept designs for Racism Not Welcome
Proposed street sign locations
Midjuburi - Marrickville Ward
- Addison Road Community Centre (Marrickville)
- Marrickville Rd and Illawarra Rd (Marrickville)
- Precinct 75 (St Peters)
- Marrickville Metro Shopping Centre (Marrickville)
- Sydenham Green (Sydenham)
Damun - Stanmore Ward
- Audley St and New Canterbury Rd (Petersham)
- Australia St and Bedford St (The Hub - Newtown)
- Victoria and Addison Rd (Enmore)
- Douglas St and Salisbury Rd (Stanmore)
- Camperdown Memorial Rest Park (Camperdown)
- Crystal St (outside TAFE – Petersham)
- Albermarle and Australia St (Newtown)
Djarrawunang - Ashfield Ward
- Liverpool Rd (outside Ashfield mall – Ashfield)
- Lackey St and Hardie Av (Summer Hill)
- Marrickville Rd and Seaview St (Dulwich Hill)
- Ashfield Park (Ashfield)
Gulgadya - Leichhardt Ward
- Norton Street (Leichhardt)
- Ramsay St (Haberfield)
- Booth and Johnston St (Annandale)
Baludarri - Balmain Ward
- Darling and Beattie Street (Balmain)
- Refugee Welcome Centre (Callan Park – Rozelle)
- Lilyfield and Canal Rd (Lilyfield)
- Wharf and Balmain Rd (Lilyfield)
- Balmain East Ferry Terminal (Balmain East)
- Dawn Fraser Baths (Balmain)
UPDATE, 25 NOVEMBER 2020:
Delighted to report that the motion PASSED unamended! The first #RacismNotWelcome sign is up now outside the Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville. I'd love to see the pics you take of yourselves with the sign - share them with me via email or Facebook, or tag @paulinelockie on your Instagram or Twitter posts. And if you'd like to see these signs up in your street or Council area, get in touch.
Posing with the first #RacismNotWelcome sign at Addi Road.