"The Albanese government will expedite a new national racism strategy amid
rising community tensions triggered by the war between Israel and Hamas, and
the defeat of the Indigenous voice to parliament referendum last Saturday.
The minister for multicultural affairs, Andrew Giles, told Guardian
’s politics podcast there is a “renewed sense of urgency” about
launching the new anti-racism campaign “given the events of recent weeks”.
Asked how concerned he was about social cohesion in Australia in the wake of
the polarising referendum campaign and domestic anxieties about the Middle East
conflict, Giles replied: “I’m very concerned.”
The government has been working with the Australian Human Rights Commission to
set the foundations of an anti-racism strategy. Giles said “some research has
gone into how we best go about it and how we best engage Australians who, in
the context of busy lives, may not have the bandwidth to think through some of
these issues in detail”.
“I think that is a big lesson of recent politics around the world – that we
have got to understand how all the pressures and dimensions of an individual’s
life impact on their willingness or capacity to engage in issues … we’ve got to
be where people are, not where we want them to be.”
Giles said in order to be persuasive, the government had to consider how best
to connect people with “experiences that may not be part of their lives”.
“I think we’ve got to combine the fact that there are heightened reasons to
advance an anti-racism agenda, but we’ve also got to make sure … that the
strategy speaks to those it needs to speak to.”
He said he was engaging with both the Jewish and Palestinian communities to
take on board “the ideas and sentiments that exist there”. He said there were
“hundreds of thousands of Australians who have a direct, immediate, personal
connection to this awful conflict”.
“So for me, as the minister for multicultural affairs, my focus, my absolute
priority, is on ensuring that we do everything we can to keep Australians
together, to make sure that we never take for granted our hard-won social
cohesion and support for a multicultural and diverse society,” Giles said."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics