Brimbank Council will act to strengthen multiculturalism and address racial prejudice through a range of new initiatives supporting Brimbank’s Australian Muslim community.
While acknowledging the exceptional contributions of many in Brimbank’s diverse community, Brimbank Mayor Councillor Lucinda Congreve said Council particularly wanted to support the Australian Muslim community in the wake of extreme and bigoted political statements within Australian Parliament and recent international tragedies targeting the Muslim diaspora.
“We know that religion is important in the lives of many in our community and we are proud of our diversity – and of our community’s welcoming and accepting spirit.
“More than 11,000 Brimbank residents identify Islam as their religion – that’s the third largest cohort in Brimbank, after Catholicism and Buddhism.
“Council is absolutely committed to an inclusive community, and recognises the work and achievements of all people who make their home here, from every corner of the world and faith,” Cr Congreve said.
Following consultation with Islamic and multifaith organisations, Council will pursue a number of local initiatives, including:
- hosting Conversation Forums with the Brimbank Australian Muslim Community
- promoting local Mosque open days and community engagement programs
- hosting an Iftar dinner in partnership with the Brimbank Interfaith Network.
Iftar is a meal to break the fast at the end of each day of Ramadan – a month of prayer, fasting, charity-giving and self-reflection in the Islamic calendar.
In August 2018 Council unanimously carried a motion, moved by Cr Daniel Allen, publicly acknowledging the exceptional contribution of Brimbank’s diverse community – including the Australian Muslim community who had been publicly denigrated and vilified.
“Being one of the most culturally and religiously diverse communities in Victoria, it is important for Brimbank to be an active role model amongst other communities across the State.
“Diversity strengthens and enriches us and I am proud of our community’s acceptance, desire for harmony, and willingness to give everyone a fair go,” Cr Allan said.
Council will also participate in the Australian Human Rights Commission National Consultation process which will seek to ask communities about their experiences of hate speech and violence; as well as taking part in the Commission’s "Racism Stops with Me" public campaign.
Council’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is expressed in Brimbank’s Community and Council Plan, Social Justice Charter, Settlement Action Plan, Reconciliation Action Plan, membership of the Brimbank Maribyrnong Interfaith Network and status as a Refugee Welcome Zone.