17.8 C
Byron Shire
April 17, 2021

Drawing a line in the sand on discrimination

Latest News

Coalition ‘hellbent’

Mat Morris, Bangalow The NSW coalition seems to be hellbent on outdoing their federal counterparts when it comes to the denigration...

Other News

HuskeeSwap launches in Lennox

An exciting initiative to keep coffee cups out of landfill launched in Lennox Head yesterday. Ballina Shire Council is backing the HuskeeSwap program with free coffees at different cafes in Lennox this week, for coffeeholics keen to try a new solution to a growing problem.

Eungella: Alleged domestic-related stabbing suspect charged with attempted murder

Police say a man will face court today charged with attempted murder following an alleged domestic-related stabbing earlier this year.

Rotary Downunder Baton handed over at Byron Bay

The Rotary Club of Byron Bay recently took the Rotary Downunder Baton to the most easterly point of Australia as part of its national journey. As well as being the national celebration of one hundred years of service by Rotary in Australia, the theme for the centenary is 'Rotary says no to domestic violence'.

$1500 council fee rebates for farmers

NSW Farmers commends the NSW Government on its delivery of a rebate scheme for NSW and local government fees and charges, following its $500 million commitment in the State Budget last year.

A man dead after boat capsizes on Ballina Bar

Police have confirmed that a man has died after a boat capsized at Ballina earlier today.

Mullum’s lilac house the subject of Change.org petition

The plight of a Mullum resident has touched the hearts and injustice buttons of people far and wide who feel that a requirement that she repaint her house a heritage colour and possibly pay a fine, not only ridiculous but also petty.

The controversy surrounding Adam Goodes has now developed a life of its own.

Many words, phrases are being said which are emotive and could be seen as offensive or hurtful.

Adam finds so much of the commentary to be hurtful and offensive. As such, it is time to draw a line in the sand. That he has withdrawn from football this weekend is a transparent illustration of the stress and hurt he is feeling.

What has occurred over the last few months or weeks can’t be altered. But tomorrow brings a new day.

Regardless of what we think or how we act, the impact of what we do or say should never cause hurt to others. Race, sexuality, religion or appearance should never be the grounds for discrimination, of any kind.

Last year, beyondblue launched a well-researched campaign Stop, Think, Respect. It used as its main character The Invisible Discriminator. It was aimed at people who may not have realised that what they say or do can discriminate against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It pointed out that constant negative comments and actions can lead to stress, anxiety and depression, even in some cases, suicide.

The campaign was well received by Indigenous Australians, who worked with us to make sure we got the campaign right.

Sadly, discrimination is the experience not only of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but also of many others of different appearances and beliefs.

beyondblue is also currently trialing a research program in the Northern Territory to work with people who have attempted to take their lives, to support them and help them to find their way back to a mentally healthier life. Since the trial started, the results are most encouraging, with no one on the trial dying by suicide. In short, there is a great deal of good work happening around Australia with and for our First Peoples.

In sport there are many examples where proud, talented and successful Indigenous men and women have brought honour to their culture, community, their sport and their country. Within Australian Rules Football, Adam Goodes is one of our most accomplished sportsmen. Clearly, he is also very proud of his Aboriginal culture and heritage, and of his broader community, as he and we all should be.

The current debate is neither fair nor dignified. As I said earlier, it is developing a life of its own, which detracts from the game of football and is clearly hurting an individual, Adam Goodes.

We must all learn from the last few weeks. We all must give some ground. We should try to understand that what we do and say can cause harm, from whatever side of the fence we may sit. We should use this experience to recommit to a harmonious, multicultural society.

It is not for me, heaven forbid, to tell anyone what to say, think, or do, but we can Stop, Think, and Respect the rights of each other.

Have a good day, remembering that tomorrow is the start of the rest of our lives, and we should treat each other as we ourselves would want to be treated.

Jeff Kennett, beyondblue chairman

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Hippie fools

Edward Kent, Suffolk Park So, have the ‘hippie’ hipsters of Byron Bay figured out how the new global establishment party at Davos has played them for...

Step up, Ben

Martin Corben, Lennox Head With the cancellation of Bluesfest now would be a good time for the NSW state government’s ‘local’ wannabe rep Ben Franklin’s...

Suffolk Park Pump Track

We the ‘Engaged Neighbours’, on behalf of the Suffolk Park pump track’s affected neighbours and 300–400 petitioners and letter writers, request Council NOT to continue to bulldoze the large fenced in section of Linda Vidler Parkland adjacent to Baz and Shaz’s shop, close to the houses on three sides.

Byron Shire celebrates seniors during festival week

An action-packed program has been planned for the 2021 Byron Shire Seniors Festival with drumming, dancing, walking, yoga and laughing on the program.