City of Bendigo
The City of Greater Bendigo signed on to the campaign in July 2014 in response to increased anti-Muslim sentiment stemming from a council decision to grant a building permit for a mosque in the area. To publicise their support for tolerance and diversity, the local council made an announcement and organised a community event in the centre of the city where the former Mayor, Cr Barry Lyons, was joined by more than 500 residents to mark Bendigo’s official support for tolerance and diversity. The pledge ceremony was accompanied by live music and a sausage sizzle. Leading up to the event, the council asked individuals and local businesses to make personal pledges to stand up to racism, which was shared on social media using the hashtag #itstopswithmebendigo.
In October 2014, the City of Greater Bendigo formally adopted a Human Rights Charter, becoming one of Australia’s first regional cities to do so. Built upon the four key rights of freedom, respect, equality and dignity, the Charter is designed to guide future practices and procedures of the Council in its operations and areas of responsibility. In particular, the Council hopes “The Charter will inform the work of the City publicly, especially when advocating for the disadvantaged or marginalised, which will help to promote the importance of human rights and social justice to residents”. In November 2014, the Charter was officially launched by the Australian Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane and Victorian Human Rights Commissioner Kate Jenkins.
Read the City of Greater Bendigo’s Human Rights Charter here.
Hobsons Bay City Council
In October 2012, Hobsons Bay City Council became one of the first councils in Victoria to pledge support for Racism. It Stops With Me.
In support of the campaign, Hobsons Bay City Council has committed to working to increase understanding of racism and its impacts among staff and the local community. To do this, the Council has undertaken various activities, including holding anti-racism workshops for Councillors, council staff and local community organisations, asking staff and Multicultural Advisory Group members to make individual pledges of support for the campaign, and developing projects to celebrate diversity and challenge racism.
One such project is Behind This Smile, a community art project developed in 2015 to promote cultural diversity in the community. As part of this project, 12 local residents from diverse backgrounds were invited to share their stories and experiences with racism. The artwork which accompanies these stories is displayed at various public spaces and the stories are available for download on the Council’s website.
This project aims to start conversations about racism and its impacts, to challenge negative stereotypes and to inspire people to make small positive changes in their everyday lives.
Find out more about Behind This Smile on the Hobsons Bay City Council website.
City of Darebin
In consultation with the community, the City of Darebin has developed an Anti-Racism Strategy 2012-2015 which envisions a “racism-free Darebin, where our community’s diversity is valued, celebrated, respected, embraced and leveraged.” As part of this Strategy, the Council has implemented a number of anti-racism projects, including the ‘Say No to Racism Project’, which was launched in September 2014. This project is designed to equip the community with the tools to address racism by empowering bystanders to challenge racism in a safe and constructive way. Through a combined DVD and training package, the project is being rolled out to community service providers and organisations to teach participants to:
- Be able to acknowledge and appreciate the ambiguous nature of racism.
- Have an increased understanding of the impacts of racism.
- Be aware of the social and personal barriers to bystander intervention.
- Use practical strategies and language skills to take safe, constructive action against racism.
- Recognise the potential of bystander action in creating anti-racist social norms.
Find out more about the City of Darebin’s anti-racism strategy and projects on their website.
Maribyrnong City Council
Maribyrnong City Council launched its support of 'Racism. It Stops With Me' at a public event during Victoria's Diversity Week in 2013.
The Council facilitates the ‘Raw Elements’ hip hop program on Monday afternoons at Phoenix Youth Centre. This program helps young people write lyrics and record songs, and works on using hip hop as a tool for people to tell stories and campaign on social issues.
After signing up to the campaign in 2013, the program developed a fantastic song and video based on the messages of the ‘Racism. It Stops With Me’ campaign, entitled ‘It Stops With Me’. Watch the video here.