Today, on the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I attended the launch of-
‘Showing Up: Islamophobia & Antisemitism Bystander Intervention Program’ at the Immigration Museum.’

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.
Evidence shows that in 75% of recently reported cases, no one intervened. This indicates that those of us witness to an antisemitic or Islamophobic incident, may not know what to do and may feel too scared to intervene.
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), Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) and Benevolence Australia who have formed a united body aimed at addressing these issues.

The program is facilitated by training organisation Polykala, known for their experiential leadership programs including ‘Say no to racism’ and their work in diversity and inclusion training.
World-wide, these forms of racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks are on the rise. The project aims at empowering people to be active bystanders when confronted with Islamophobia and/or Antisemitism.

Delivered across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria commencing December, our 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
For more information on the program contact:
● JCCV: Anat Aloni (T) 9272 5642 (E)
● AIS: Ahmet Keskin (T) 9867 2248 (E)
● Benevolence Australia : Jessica Swann (T) 9913 8262 (E)
For media inquiries: Jessica Swann (Benevolence Australia) 0456991158