Melbourne’s South Sudanese community is fed up with being ‘‘demonised’’ by ‘‘racist’’ media coverage and political commentary about youth crime.
Community leader and lawyer Maker Mayek and a group of suburban mayors say the ‘‘racist fearmongering must be stopped’’ following the high-profile coverage of police incidents involving African-Australian youths.
The mayors, from Darebin, Hume, Whittlesea, Moreland, Yarra, Knox, Monash and Melton, accused the Federal Government of dividing the community and inflaming, rather than working to resolve, racial conflicts. City of Darebin mayor Kim Le Cerf said crime was going down and Victorians are safer than ever.
‘‘This racist fearmongering must be stopped,” Cr Le Cerf said. “Many Victorians feel unsafe simply because they’re told to feel unsafe.
This is the Australia we know
Melton Mayor Bob Turner said his area had 130 different nationalities speaking 76 languages.
“We welcome the diversity coming to Melton,” he said. “It makes us a much richer city.”
‘‘There is such creativity, intelligence and determination in the Sudanese community and Victorians supporting their new neighbours and making them feel welcome is the best way to help.’’