News

Ipswich residents take a stand against racism

WE ARE ONE: A large group of people, including Mayor Paul Pisasale and State MPs showed up to the Ipswich Mall for the Stand Against Racism Rally organised by The Queensland Times.
WE ARE ONE: A large group of people, including Mayor Paul Pisasale and State MPs showed up to the Ipswich Mall for the Stand Against Racism Rally organised by The Queensland Times. Rob Williams

IPSWICH will not stand for racism.

That was the message proudly displayed by hundreds of Ipswich residents at the Stand Against Racism on Saturday.

The rally, held at the rotunda in the Ipswich Mall, attracted national media coverage of Ipswich's rejection of racist behaviour after an alleged racist attack at the Indian Mehfil restaurant.

Led by Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, the mall burst into song, with popular anthem I Am Australian being sung by the hundreds in attendance.

The Queensland Times organised the rally after an incident were a man allegedly racially abused the owner of CBD restaurant Indian Mehfil, Raj Sharma, his young children and several staff members.

One man has been charged by police, who are continuing to investigate the incident, following the attack.

Speaking at the rally, Mr Sharma said he had been overwhelmed with the community support.

QT editor Peter Chapman said people across the country should be following the lead and also making a stand against racism.

The Queensland Times ' Stand Against Racism Rally' held in the Ipswich Mall on Saturday. addresses the crowd. Business owner Rajesh Sharma and Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times
The Queensland Times ' Stand Against Racism Rally' held in the Ipswich Mall on Saturday. addresses the crowd. Business owner Rajesh Sharma and Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times Rob Williams

"We have given a template to the rest of Australia to hold similar rallies," Mr Chapman said.

"It presented the community with a poignant chance to say that we rejected racism.

"It's unfortunate that it takes a few to behave in a racist way to give somewhere a bad reputation.

"I think the Stand Against Racism demonstrated that the people of Ipswich clearly showed they are against it."

Leading multicultural advocate and Access Community Services CEO Gail Ker spoke to the crowd about her experiences working with settling migrants and refugees into the community.

Access Community Service specialises in assisting migrants with employment, training and youth support.

State Minister for Multicultural Affairs Glen Elmes spoke to the rally and said it was a sure sign the people of Ipswich had rejected racist behaviour (see below).

Mr Elmes, who visited Mr Sharma the day after the alleged attack, said he was pleased to see the community rally behind the cause.

Similarly Cr Pisasale spoke about the importance of the many different cultures in Ipswich.

He said Ipswich was home to people from dozens of ethnic backgrounds which was part of what made the city such a vibrant place to live.

 

EXCERPT of the speech by State Minister for Multicultural Affairs Glem Elmes:

I'd like to commend the Queensland Times for organising today's rally, and all of you for having the commitment to attend and make it a success.

A significant number of people gathering together around an issue is a powerful public statement.

What a pity we even need to be here today making the public statement that we support cultural diversity as a positive element of our society.

Difference is everywhere in our society, and none of us should be threatened by it.

A culturally diverse community is a vibrant community.

A culturally diverse community is one open to new ideas, tastes and customs.

The enemies of cultural diversity are narrow mindedness, bigotry and racism.

I don't believe that some recent public examples of racism here are indicative of how Ipswich residents view our state's cultural diversity.

The acts of a few cast a shadow over the whole Ipswich community.

The people of Ipswich are better than that… and this rally is a clear demonstration that you are.




Lowndes leads way at Ipswich SuperSprint

Race winner Craig Lowndes celebrates in style at Queensland Raceway today.

Supercars champion fires at Qld Raceway

Soana steering Force women into playoff challenge

Ipswich Force basketballer Soana Lucet.

Ipswich import proves valuable recruit

Latest deals and offers

Reno stars want tradies to focus a little more on one thing

The Demmrichs want Tradies to look after their most important tool

Day 2 Splendour Pictures

Sticky Fingers perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Splendour in the Grass Day 2 covered in pictures.

WATCH: News reader tries her hand at hardcore shooter, Doom

Veteran journo and noob gamer takes a shot at Doom

What's on the small screen this week

MasterChef Australia's final four contestants, from left, Harry Foster, Elena Duggan, Elise Franciskovic and Matt Sinclair.

MASTERCHEF makes way for The Bachelor on Ten's reality TV slate.

Recycling your childhood faves

GHOST GIRL: Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones in a scene from Ghostbusters.

Everything that's old is new again

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles