Burwood Council takes stand against COVID-19 racism

Published on 04 September 2020


Burwood Council has drawn a line in the sand when it comes to COVID-inspired racism.

The Council is taking a stand against racism, with plans to not only continue to promote the value of multiculturalism, harmony and diversity, but remind the community of ways to report racism formally and informally, and investigate its local extent and impacts.

It will also examine potential projects and activities to help reduce racism and enhance community inclusiveness.

Mayor John Faker said there was increasing evidence, from data and anecdotally, that racism was on the rise in Australia as a result of COVID-19.

“While the picture is not entirely clear in Burwood, I have heard reports of incidents including a person being verbally abused for wearing a mask and false rumours being circulated about the Chinese-speaking community and links to COVID-19,” he said.

“This is truly disappointing, but I believe it does not represent the views of many people in our community.

“However, it is important that Council shows leadership by speaking out about this issue.”

Burwood is one of Sydney’s most culturally diverse areas, with a well-established Chinese community at 33 per cent of the population, a growing Korean community and emerging Nepali community.

Cr Faker said Council had always taken a positive approach to multiculturalism and valued the diversity of the community.

“Not only is Council a Refugee Welcome Zone, we have held numerous Harmony Day events and developed a board game for use in local schools, which sought to break down racial stereotypes,” he said.

“I believe taking a formal stance against COVID-inspired racism will help to create a sense of inclusiveness and belonging for the whole community.”  


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