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Media Release

Discriminations in the lives of Multi-cultural and Multi-faith LGBTIQ+ Victorians

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Have you experienced racism, religious discrimination and homo/bi/transphobia?
Who from?
Where at?
Who supported you and how?

Share your experience by completing an anonymous survey:

Following from the successful launch of their book, Living and Loving in Diversity which included many renowned LGBTIQ+ artists, writersl leaders and activists of multicultural, multifaith backgrounds,  AGMC has received a research grant from the Victorian Multicultural Commission and the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Social Cohesion, Department of Premier and Cabinet, to conduct a survey on discrimination faced by multicultural and multi-faith LGBTIQ communities.

The survey will provide insights in to the way our communities experience discrimination based on ethnicity, religion/faith, and LGBTIQ identities in different social contexts. The results will inform policy makers and the wider LGBTIQ communities to create strategies to end discrimination.

The lead researcher, Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, said “We have come a long way in Victoria toward ending racism, religious bigotry, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, but we have more to do. There are still too many Victorians who experience racism or Islamophobia in gay venues, or homo/bi/transphobia in their ethnic or religious communities, or a mixture of discriminations in their schools, hospitals and workplaces.  We need to know what you would want employers, police, hospitals, teachers, venue managers, to do so that you can feel free to be everything you are wherever you are without having to hide different parts of yourself depending where you are and who you’re with. Let’s keep making Victoria a safer and happier place for LGBTIQ people of diverse cultures and faiths!”
The anonymous survey is available online via www.agmc.org.au/racismsurvey. You’re also welcome to participate in a confidential interview and discussion groups to share their experiences and insights.  Please let us know by contacting Maria: 0414 804 529; mariapc@deakin.edu.au



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Sent: Monday, January 15, 2018 11:11 AM

Subject: Media Statement – Multicultural and Multifaith Victoria supports our fellow Australians of African descent


Victoria’s diverse faith and multicultural communities are extremely concerned and disappointed by the media reporting, unhelpful statements by politicians and public debate surrounding youth crime in Victoria, which appears to target and make scapegoats out of the Victorian African community, and the South Sudanese community in particular.

Our political leaders must understand that language is important and that we are all Australians. To protect the integrity of our multicultural society, communities must not be targeted for political ends, and politicians should communicate responsibly, to not victimize or alienate whole communities. Our leaders must stand up for the values which define our multicultural society not only when it is politically expedient.

No community should be held accountable for the actions of a few, and no community should become a target for racism, hate speech, intolerance and discrimination.

Criminal behaviour, whether by individuals, gangs or groups of perpetrators must be appropriately addressed, including effective policing, bail laws, sentencing and parole procedures.  The safety of our homes and streets should be a top priority for any community, and Victoria is no different.

We acknowledge that there is a youth crime problem, and congratulate Victoria Police for their work in crime prevention, securing our streets and in organising youth crime forums to address the breadth of issues which need tackling to prevent and reduce youth crime.

We support the Australian African community and their leaders’ work in dealing with this problem. We also call on the State and Commonwealth governments to provide financial assistance for programs to integrate newcomers to Australia with effective education, job training and community support. These programs have assisted new communities in the past and were highly successful, as many of our longer established immigrants and refugees can attest.

Clearly, more needs to be done, but making one community a scapegoat is not acceptable in a free, inclusive and democratic society.

This statement is supported by the following organisations:

African Australian Communities Leadership Forum

African-Australian Multicultural Employment and Youth Services (AAMEYS)

Afro-Australian Student Organisation (AASO)

AMAFHH Federation

Bishop Philip Huggins, Vicar – General in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne

Asian Australian Democracy Caucus

Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS)

Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council Inc (AGMC)

Australian Intercultural Society (AIS)

B’nai B’rith Victoria

Board of Imams Victoria

Buddhist Council of Victoria (BCV)

Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY)

Council of Christians and Jews Inc Victoria

Eritrean Jeberty Community in Australia

Ethnic Communities’ Council of the South East (ECCOSE Inc)

Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV)

Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV)

Hindu Council of Australia (Victoria)

Incubate Foundation

The Interfaith Centre of Melbourne

Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV)

Islamic Shia Council Victoria

Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV)

Jewish Christian Muslim Association (JCMA)

Melbourne Employment Forum

National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (Victoria) (NCJWA)

National Liaison Council of Chinese Australians

Online Hate Prevention Institute (OHPI)

Pax Christi

Progressive Judaism Victoria

Sikh Interfaith Council

Stand Up

Team Africa

Emeritus Prof Gary Bouma AM, UNESCO Chair in Interreligious and Intercultural Relations – Asia Pacific

Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania

Uniting (Vic/Tas) Limited

Bishop Peter Danaher (President) and Rev Ian Smith (Executive Officer), Victorian Council of Churches (VCC)

Youth Activating Youth (YAY)



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original: http://www.starobserver.com.au/news/national-news/multicultural-community-thanked-voting-yes/163374

Multicultural community leaders and the Australian film industry have launched a new ad thanking Australians who voted Yes in the marriage equality postal survey.

The video, produced by Sarah Freeman with executive producer Tony Ayres and the team from Matchbox Pictures, acknowledges that voting Yes was a difficult decision for many people from religious, migrant, or conservative backgrounds.

“Millions of Australians have voted yes and although we don’t know the outcome yet, we know that for some people voting yes was hard but we are so glad they did,” said Yes Alliance President Dr Judy Tang.

The Yes Alliance, representing 32 multicultural and faith-based community groups, said voting Yes for marriage equality is consistent with Australia’s enviable record of fostering a diverse, open, and welcoming society.

Almost one in two Australian was born overseas or is a second generation Australian, and more than one in four Australians speak a language other than English at home, according to the 2016 census.

“Together, we have built a place where people from every corner of the world can live and work side by side—a place where everyone can belong,” Dr Tang said.

“Marriage equality is the next step in ensuring ours remains a tolerant and respectful society.”

Film industry professionals donated their time to create the ad to coincide with the conclusion of the postal vote period.

Inspired by real conversations between LGBTI people and their families, the ad tells the story of a woman from a conservative migrant background voting Yes for the love of her gay son.

“For me, it was pretty easy to say yes because I’m gay and I may or may not want to get married but I want to have the choice,” Ayres said.

“For other people, it’s more difficult because they are religious, or come from an immigrant background or more conservative background. That’s a story that has not been told.

“We hope this ad will be a gesture towards healing between the conflicting sides.”


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AGMC launched a heart warming video of an interview with an Australian mum, Pamela (Hong Kong background), on her feelings towards her son’s coming out and views on marriage equality. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience hearing not only her candid views but also Tim’s (Pamela’s son).

Being a family of faith made the whole experience challenging from the get go of coming out to where they are at this point in time – mutual understanding and respect and constant open communication. We hope you’d find get support in hearing the interview.

AGMC thank Pamela Fok and her family for their time in sharing their story and allowing the video to be distributed publicly. AGMC also thank NR Studio for editing and translating this video pro bono.


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AGMC noted that there was limited engagement with the older Chinese community for the marriage equality survey and has since launched a couple of the Chinese language posters in social media.  These posters are currently also being shared by community organisations, councils and a peak body, FECCA.

Unfortunately, AGMC, similar to other support groups, unexpectedly faced some resistance when attempting to place advertisement on a couple of Chinese newspapers to support marriage equality.  The incident has been reported in The Saturday Times: https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/media/2017/10/14/the-no-case-chinese-media/15078996005346.

FECCA expresses its support for marriage equality

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Today the Chairperson of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia, Mr Joe Caputo OAM, made a statement expressing his support for marriage equality.

Mr Caputo said: “FECCA urges all Australians, of all backgrounds, to choose ‘yes’ in the marriage equality survey.”

“FECCA’s support for the principle of marriage equality was endorsed by the majority of the FECCA Executive.”

Mr Caputo continued: “Our support for marriage equality is in line with FECCA’s continuing advocacy for equality and non-discrimination across Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) society.”

“Australia must join the many other liberal, democratic nations across the world – including Ireland, Malta, Portugal and Taiwan – who have introduced marriage equality into their laws.”

Mr Caputo said: “FECCA recognises that there are diverse views across Australian society on the issue of marriage equality. I therefore welcome the leadership shown by community leaders from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in supporting marriage equality.”

“Today I will be attending the launch at 1pm on the steps of Parliament House in Victoria of The YES Alliance – Multicultural Australians for Marriage Equality who supports a ‘yes’ vote in the marriage equality survey.”

FECCA encourages all Australians including those from CALD backgrounds to participate in the postal survey.

FECCA is working closely with the Australian Bureau of Statistics to ensure that individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds can fully participate in the same-sex marriage survey process.

The ABS has implemented a number of measures designed to ensure access and equity for all Australians in the postal survey process, including the use of interpreters at no cost to the user.

FECCA is the peak national body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. FECCA’s role is to advocate and promote issues on behalf of its constituency to government, business and the broader community.

Media contact: (0424) 910617 / emma@fecca.org.au

How to engagae in marriage equality discussion (Chinese version)

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Marriage equality to all in Australia (Chinese version)

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讓每一個人都有結婚的權利,這並沒有損 害 其 他 任 何 一 個 人 的 權 利 。但 是 ,它可以使我們的生活變得更加美好、社會變得更加的包容和睦。同時,這也是每一個澳洲人享有平等權利的體現。婚姻平權並不是宗教自由的負擔。它只是賦予兩位相愛的人一個平等的機會,在法律 的 見 證 下 ,“執 子 之 手 ,與 子 偕 老”。




在 澳 洲 ,我 們 堅 信 每 個 人 都 應 該 享 有 平等的權利。每一個澳洲人都有婚姻合法化的權利是確保法律體現我們追求平等的共同理念。這正如移民家庭的權利一直受到澳洲法律保護一樣。每個人都是生來平等的,這當然也包括選擇和所愛的人結婚的權利。