Thanks again for the opportunity to speak tonight.
It is important that we work together to make sure that racism has no place in our community.
While I have been fortunate not to have extreme hate mail that Councillor Huang has recently received, I have witnessed racism impacting our local community as well.
For example, from time to time I receive messages criticising me for advocating for the restoration of train services because it would enable too many people from certain ethnic backgrounds to gain easy access to Sydney City.
At present the motion is pointing in the right direction, but I feel it is not holistic enough and could be improved to provide more engagement opportunities for the Cumberland community.
Seeing at the last meeting that Council has reaffirmed its commitment to multiculturalism, I believe there is opportunity right now to demonstrate such through the reestablishment of the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Committee.
I call on Council to embrace its commitment to multiculturalism by using an ‘Asset Based Community Development’ approach towards empowering Cumberland residents as culturally and linguistically diverse as we are to come together.
‘Asset Based Community Development’ (ABCD) builds on the assets that are found in the community and mobilises individuals, associations, and institutions to come together to realise and develop their strengths.
On top of re-establishing the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Committee, could I also suggest that Council seeks to empower church, faith leaders, and other groups to lead community initiatives for harmony and social cohesion, similar to the Salvation Army’s “Together for Hope” suicide prevention march in Auburn.
This can be our turning point where we become truly known as a community where everyone can be warmly welcomed, grow a sense of belonging, and ultimately succeed in giving back to others.