Combating racism

Article image - Combating racism Councillor Zelinda Sherlock launched Hobartís new anti-racism campaign.

City of Hobart has launched a new anti-racism campaign, Hobart Respects All, building on an earlier campaign to support migrants, immigrants and refugees, Hobart Welcomes All.

The new message is particularly timely given anecdotal evidence of a rise of racist sentiment in the city, in part driven by misinformation and fear. Several incidents of people wearing medical masks being spat on and told to go home have been reported in local media.

Councillor Zelinda Sherlock, who officially launched the campaign in March, said it was important to take these issues seriously.

“We should all consider the kind of place we want Hobart to be and each play our part in achieving that goal.

“I’m personally aware of many situations recently where members of the community have felt singled out and unsafe because of damaging words and actions. We can’t accept this as normal or just hope the problem goes away by itself.”

The campaign is designed to empower bystanders to support anyone who is being targeted by racism, whether in overt or more subtle ways, with the understanding that it is everyone’s responsibility to help make the community more inclusive and respectful.

In 2019, City of Hobart signed on to be a Welcoming City, joining the national network of local governments committed to an Australia where everyone can belong and participate in social, cultural, economic and civic life.

As a Welcoming City, Hobart strongly advocates for migrants, refugees and international students to feel valued and welcomed and as such, feedback from multicultural communities that racism was on the rise could not be ignored.

Hobart Respects All messages can be seen on buses, banners, bags and stickers around town, the key message is Hobart Respects All as a call to action to stand against racist behaviour.