Newcastle joins #RacismNotWelcome street sign campaign

19 Nov 2021

New street signs are being installed in key locations across Newcastle as part of a grassroots initiative to show that racism is not welcome within our community.

Council unanimously resolved in March, following a Lord Mayoral Minute, to support the #RacismNotWelcome campaign which is a national community-led initiative that acknowledges the existence of racism in the community and encourages anti-racist behaviour.

Image caption (L-R): Zara's House Sister Diana Santleben, Zara's House Financial Administrator Mary Amponsah, #RacismNotWelcome ambassador and former Socceroos Captain Craig Foster, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, and Zara's House Project Coordinator Farida Baremgayabo.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said Newcastle is a diverse and inclusive community with a proud multicultural history.

“Newcastle has a long and proud history as a progressive, welcoming city and is officially a Refugee Welcome Zone,” Cr Nelmes said.

“City of Newcastle has taken the lead in tackling racism and will consistently advocate when it comes to providing support for refugees and migrants settling in Newcastle.

“We are proud to join this grassroots campaign by erecting #RacismNotWelcome street signage and will continue to send out the powerful message that racism will not be tolerated in our community.”

Former Socceroos captain, human rights campaigner and #RacismNotWelcome ambassador Craig Foster said the street sign campaign was devised to get to the heart of communities where racism lives.

“The street signs are the physical manifestation of the underlying principle that racism exists, it is real, damaging and deeply harmful to many Australians and that we all have a responsibility to confront it, every day,” Mr Foster said.

“The path ahead for every local council and for us as a country is to proclaim loudly, publicly and visibly that we’re united together as people against division, against discrimination on all grounds and, in this context, race.

“I’d like to thank City of Newcastle for getting behind this important movement by declaring the Newcastle Local Government Area rejects discrimination of all kinds."

The backing of the street sign campaign complements programs funded by City of Newcastle earlier this year to encourage the social inclusion of people from diverse background in our community. Under the Community Support Grants Program 2021, funding assisted a wide range of multicultural and community projects such as the Afghan Community Festival, Unity and Diversity Festival, Newcastle Arab Youth Festival, Multicultural Pop-Up Library, and Syrian Community Festival.

#RacismNotWelcome street signs will be erected in the following locations over the coming weeks:

· Shortland Esplanade, Newcastle Beach

· Corner of Council and Darby Street, Cooks Hill

· Newcastle Interchange, Hannell Street, Wickham

· Corner of Victoria Street and Maitland Road, Mayfield

· Corner of Beaumont Street and Donald Street, Hamilton

· Blue Gum Road, Jesmond

· Wallsend Library

· Hunter Stadium, Turton Road, Lambton

· John Hunter Hospital entrance road, Kookaburra Circuit, New Lambton Heights.

For more information, visit City of Newcastle's Community Services webpage