By JAMILA RIZVI
Welcome to Open Post. This is a weekly Mamamia tradition where we put up a post that’s not really about anything in particular. I promise it’s not just because I’m a lazy editor either.
The purpose of Open Post is for our wonderful community to be able to come together to share experiences, ask for advice, lend our support and generally talk about whatever the hell we like.
So let’s get started, shall we?
On my mind this week is a wonderful organisation called Welcome to Australia and their annual Walk Together event, which is happening right across the country this weekend. Walk Together happens on the Saturday of Refugee Week each year and is a chance for Australians to come together and show the world that we are a country which does not just tolerate cultural diversity but celebrates it.
When it comes to racism in our community and the treatment of people who come to this country seeking our protection – the last few months haven’t been Australia’s finest. From multiple incidents on public buses, to the excision of the Australian mainland from our migration zone, to the offensive comments made about Indigenous footballer Adam Goodes, I am really anxious to have the opportunity to do something positive in this area.
Now the result of these sort of incidents is that we often hear phrases bandied about like “Australia is a racist country”.
I absolutely do not believe that.
Like the team at Welcome to Australia, I believe that Australia is a compassionate, generous and welcoming country.
Of course we can always do better and it is up to those of us who do believe that while we’re a country girt by sea we DO have boundless plains to share, to stand up and be counted. To make our voices heard. And to do what we can to give all visitors to and residents of our country the sense on inclusion, security and belonging that we would wish them to show us in return.
In 2012, more than 10,000 Australians walked together to show their pride in our country’s cultural diversity.
This year, we hope to see that figure doubled. And I’d love for Mamamia readers to be a part of that.
If you’d like to be involved in Walk Together this weekend, you can find more information about what’s happening in your city or town here. I will be MC-ing at the Sydney event, which is taking place at 1.00pm on Saturday in Parramatta.
So if you’re there, please do come and say hello. We can huddle together for warmth and I’ll loan you my umbrella.
What’s happening in your world? What’s on your mind?