Azlan Petra has made fighting against racism his career, working with asylum seekers, humanitarian groups and communities around the world. He’s currently working to address racial profiling in Victoria – which you may remember us talking about way back last year with Maki Issa, one of the African men involved in the civil case against Victoria Police. In his spare time, Azlan occasionally blogs and tweets for our friends The Two Chairs, an anti-racism online project.
Part of the Darebin Ethnic Communitiy Council in Melbourne’s north assists asylum seekers at the Asylum Seeker Welcome Lounge. Rajith Savanadasa, an engineer with a passion for writing, became interested in the stories of asylum seekers as he saw Tamils from his homeland of Sri Lanka try to settle in Australia. With the assistance of the Darebin Ethnic Community Council, Rajith founded the Open City Stories project. Open City Stories is a blog of Rajith’s conversations with the asylum seekers he meets at the Welcome Lounge. They talk about their everyday lives as well as the trauma that led them to seek asylum in Australia. Rajith tells us about Open City Stories, refugees in the City of Darebin, and the story of his own first day in Australia. LINK: Open City Stories Click here to download
Michael Nolan from Melbourne has taken it upon himself to start a petition against repealing 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
18C condemns offensive speech and actions towards another person based on their race. However, Attorney General George Brandis and Prime Minister Tony Abbott are proposing to repeal the act, claiming it interferes with the right to free speech. This has caused concern in ethnic communities across the country. The Attorney-General’s department is accepting submissions from the public about their thoughts on repealing the act until the end of April.
Michael has collected almost 8,000 signatures protesting against changes to the Act and will submit it at the end of the month. He talks to us about how his migrant family and international friends motivated him to take action.
Kashif Bouns, AFL Multicultural program coordinator
Kashif Bouns came from Pakistan as an international student and started his career path from TAFE and progressed to Swinburne University in Melbourne. He is now very deeply involved in the AFL Multicultural program recruitment programs and many other AFL activities to create cultural awareness, support and encouragement.