Tackling Racism: Backing Communities And Driving Respect

Congratulations to Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann of the Ark Centre in Hawthorn East for being appointed to the Victorian Government’s landmark Anti-Racism Taskforce. Rabbi Gabi will join ten other community representatives in a taskforce co-chaired by Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Member for Sunbury Josh Bull and Member for Northern Metropolitan Region and proud Yorta Yorta woman Sheena Watt.

The taskforce will also include representatives of the Victorian Multicultural Commission and Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. The Anti-Racism Taskforce will consult directly with communities and develop a strategy to proactively address race and faith-based discrimination across our state.

Member for Hawthorn John Kennedy says “Rabbi Gabi is an upstanding Hawthorn community and faith leader. A shining example of his work is the Pillars of Light event that brings the community together to celebrate each other’s culture, faith and religious traditions. This eight-day festival is a true celebration of Australian multiculturalism and diversity. My wife, Bronwyn Lane, and I have attended this event and have seen first-hand Rabbi Gabi’s skills in communicating, working with young people, and building bridges between communities. Thank you to Rabbi Gabi for agreeing to share his expertise through this important taskforce.”

Together the taskforce will develop a strategy to proactively address race and faith-based discrimination across our state. This strategy will consider issues such as unconscious bias, privilege, and how race intersects with other forms of discrimination. As Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence has said, “Racism has no place in Victoria. Tackling it head on is vital to building a stronger, fairer society.”

Consulting directly with communities, the Anti-Racism Taskforce will ensure a diversity of perspectives are drawn upon in their work. As Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams has said, “The voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will play a critical role in shaping Victoria’s new Anti-Racism Strategy.”

In addition to the taskforce, Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence has also announced 42 community organisations will share in more than $3.8 million to boost cross-cultural understanding across Victoria.

The Victorian Government is committed to tackling racism and supporting multicultural and multifaith communities. Let’s build up our community here in Hawthorn and across Victoria to truly celebrate Australian multiculturalism and diversity.