Residents to publicly denounce racism
BENDIGO residents are invited to publicly denounce racism today by making a pledge at Hargreaves Mall.
The City of Greater Bendigo is hosting an event at 10.30am, where people can sign a group pledge or write their own.
At 11am people will be invited to take part in a community photo, which will be taken on cherry picker that will be on sight.
The event is part of the "Racism. It Stops With Me" campaign initiated by the Australian Human Rights Commission and promoted by the City of Greater Bendigo.
Throughout the past week Bendigo residents have been posting photos and messages of support for the cause through the Twitter hashtag #ItStopsWithMeBendigo.
About 250 Bendigo Bank employees featured in a group photo holding colourful balloons and signs of letters that spelled out "#It Stops With Me Bendigo" yesterday morning.
Bendigo Bank spokesman Owen Davies said many staff members were passionate about supporting multiculturalism.
"We thought it was a great initiative from the council to pick up on the commission's national campaign, particularly given we've had a bit of publicity recently that didn't reflect well on the city," he said.
"People felt strongly and were motivated to support it."
The Bendigo Fighting Miners rugby team also supported the campaign yesterday, making the pledge by posing for a photo at the mall yesterday.
Player Josh Drum said his team was proud to have players from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds and the team firmly rejected racism.
The campaign comes after heated opposition to a planned mosque in Bendigo.
City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Barry Lyons was contacted by the Australian Human Rights Commission to join the campaign, which invites all Australians to counter racism.