Winter 2020

Vinnies joins call for bipartisan anti-racism strategy

The St Vincent de Paul Society’s National Council President, Claire Victory, has supported calls for a bipartisan National Anti-Racism Strategy to address increasing incidents of racism in Australia.

As co-signatory to an open letter to the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison and the Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese the Society has joined with 23 other organisations urging our political leaders to create this urgently needed blueprint for change.

‘The letter calls for actions which strengthen social cohesion in our multicultural society in the face of an increase in hostile, discriminatory and abusive behaviour towards Asian-Australians since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,’ Ms Victory said.

‘Specifically, the letter calls for a bipartisan National Anti-Racism Strategy to draw on existing experience and expertise to promote social cohesion at all levels of Australian society.

‘We are mindful of the national leadership the Prime Minister has shown in the face of the bushfire, drought and COVID-19 emergencies.

‘We encourage him to continue his vision for uniting all Australians by leading the development of a national strategy to address discrimination directed at all peoples including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, African-Australians, Islamic and Jewish Australians and people of other religions and cultural minorities.

‘We acknowledge the Opposition Leader’s commitment to the strategy and to a new national anti-racism campaign which would send a message of zero tolerance of racism in Australia.

‘We welcome this evidence of bipartisan support.

‘We urge our parliaments to address this issue as a matter of urgency and we reiterate our commitment to help build this essential strategy,’ Ms Victory said. ♦

A copy of the letter is available here.

Tragic Death in Custody

The St Vincent de Paul Society National Council
strongly supports the recent recommendations of the
NSW Deputy State Coroner, following an inquest into
the death in custody of an ACT Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander resident who was incarcerated in a
NSW prison.

National President Claire Victory said this is a
tragic case which could have been avoided if the
recommendations of the 2017 ALRC Report had
been implemented.

‘But the Society notes with dismay that the Report
was delivered to the Federal Government in
December 2017 and that the Government has failed
to respond,’ Ms Victory said.

‘The St Vincent de Paul Society strongly agrees
with the view of the Deputy Coroner that the
tragedy of Aboriginal deaths in custody must be
addressed in the context of the over representation
of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system,’
Ms Victory said. ♦

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