Australian Intercultural Society, in collaboration with the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, the Australian Union of Jewish Students and Benevolence Australia will present a collaborative initiative as part of the Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan over several dates in 2019.
Islamophobia and Antisemitism are prominent and serious issues for many community members across Victoria. Anecdotal and evidence-based reporting suggests there has been a steady increase in incidents across Victoria both in cases reported and indeed in the number of cases which continue to go unreported. While there are reporting and complaint mechanisms for responding to vilification and abuse based on a person’s religion, communities experience barriers in responding.
This indicates that the majority of us, if witness to an antisemitic or Islamophobic incident, wouldn’t know what to do, and may even feel too scared to intervene and help those in need. Yet, past research indicates that bystander approaches were identified as holding promise in the primary prevention of race-based discrimination (2009, VicHealth & University of Melbourne).
As part of the Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan, the Victorian Government is supporting key organisations to deliver community-led responses to Islamophobia and Antisemitism. This project is a collaborative initiative by the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV), Australian Intercultural Society (AIS), Australian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) and Benevolence Australia who have formed a united body aimed at addressing these issues.
Teaming up with the renowned training organisation Polykala, for their experiential leadership programs including ‘Say no to racism’ and their work in diversity and inclusion training.
The project aims at empowering people to be active bystanders when confronted with Islamophobia or Antisemitism; trained to be confident and tooled-up to take a safe active stance when observing Antisemitism and Islamophobia.
Delivered across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, the half day programs will:
- Provide community-led responses to Islamophobia and Antisemitism
- Support people who have been subjected to Islamophobia and Antisemitism
- Support bystanders to respond to situations
- Raise awareness of issues and promote respectful behaviour and interfaith understanding
The Official Launch of the inaugural ‘Showing up: Bystander Intervention program’ training took place on the 10th of December at the Immigraton museum by the Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs the Hon. Richard Wynne MP. This is an initiative supportive of the VIC State Government.
The opening program was a huge success and feedback from attendees of the very first training session confirm this. 88% of attendees were satisfied with the overall bystander training. All of the attendees said that they would 100% recommend this training to their friends, colleagues and others.
Some quotes from participants expressings their feelings were as follows:
‘It was non-intimidating because it wasn’t role-plays or presenting, but more group-based’
‘The environment felt safe and respectful with the approaches listed were useful and thought provoking’
‘Both facilitators were fantastic and incredibly good at what they do. I liked how the intentions of intervention were described and broken down into 5 simple steps.’
Overall, the unanimous support and positive feedback from the inaugural program attendees is another reason why anyone interested in the Bystander Intervention program should register to take up this training.
We currently have sessions arranged for the following dates:
Monday 10 December 2018
- Friday 1 February 2019
- Monday 4 February 2019
- Monday 18 March 2019
- Tuesday 30 April 2019
For more information please contact:
JCCV: Anat Aloni (T) 9272 5642 (E) firstname.lastname@example.org
AIS: Ahmet Keskin (T) 9867 2248 (E) email@example.com
Benevolence Australia : Jessica Swann (T) 9913 8262 (E) firstname.lastname@example.org