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Race Discrimination Commissioner urges unity in wake of Sydney attacks

Race Discrimination

Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner, Giridharan Sivaraman, has urged communities to embrace compassion and reject division, following two stabbing attacks in Sydney this week.  

Commissioner Sivaraman extended his condolences to all impacted by the attack at the Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley, and the deadly stabbings at Westfield Bondi Junction. 

“Like the rest of the country, I have been left numb and broken by the tragic events that have occurred,” Commissioner Sivaraman said. 

“My heart goes out to the victims, their families, friends and wider communities, and anyone struggling after what’s been an horrific few days.”  

Commissioner Sivaraman said he was heartened by the national show of support already being offered to the victims, but is concerned by the reports of racism, divisive rhetoric, and mis and disinformation around the attacks. 

“These are difficult and distressing times. Emotions are understandably high, but it is important we ensure it does not spill over into an angry or hateful response,” Commissioner Sivaraman said. 

“With incidents of the nature that we have seen, there is a heightened risk of racism. Following the Bondi tragedy, I was very concerned by the antisemitic and Islamophobic commentary that flooded parts of social media – as some, ignorantly or even malevolently, attempted to wrongly apportion blame for the attacks. 

“Communities shouldn’t be tarred by the actions of individuals. There is no place in our country, or anywhere, for racism of any kind. I urge all Australians to reject those who try to divide us and find ways, in our common humanity, to rise above. 

“We must stay calm and connected, and not give into the racism and hate.” 

ENDS | Media contact: or 0457 281 897