Showing Up: Bystander Intervention Program
Islamophobia and Antisemitism are prominent and serious issues for many community members across Victoria. Anecdotal and evidence-based reporting suggests there has been a steady increase in incidents across Victoria both in cases reported and indeed in the number of cases which continue to go unreported. While there are reporting and complaint mechanisms for responding to vilification and abuse based on a person’s religion, communities experience barriers in responding.
This indicates that the majority of us, if witness to an antisemitic or Islamophobic incident, wouldn’t know what to do, and may even feel too scared to intervene and help those in need. Yet, past research indicates that bystander approaches were identified as holding promise in the primary prevention of race-based discrimination (2009, VicHealth & University of Melbourne).
As part of the Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan, the Victorian Government is supporting key organisations to deliver community-led responses to Islamophobia and Antisemitism. This project is a collaborative initiative by the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV), Australian Intercultural Society (AIS), Australian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) and Benevolence Australia who have formed a united body aimed at addressing these issues.
Teaming up with the renowned training organisation Polykala, for their experiential leadership programs including ‘Say no to racism’ and their work in diversity and inclusion training.
World-wide, these forms of racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks are on the rise. The Project aims at empowering people to be active bystanders when confronted with Islamophobia or Antisemitism; trained to be confident and tooled-up to take a safe active stance when observing Antisemitism and Islamophobia.
Drawing on important lessons from transformative work in the space of anti-racism and bystander training participants are equipped with the skills, language and confidence to interrupt bigotry, harassment and violence in our community.
Delivered across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria commencing December, our half day programs will:
- Provide community-led responses to Islamophobia and Antisemitism
- Support people who have been subjected to Islamophobia and Antisemitism
- Support bystanders to respond to situations
- Raise awareness of issues and promote respectful behaviour and interfaith understanding
The Official Launch of the program will be on Monday 10 December at the Immigration Museum by the VIC Minister for Multicultural Affairs the Hon Richard Wynne MP. This is an initiative supportive of the VIC State Government.
We currently have sessions arranged for the following dates:
- Monday 10 December 2018
- Friday 1 February 2019
- Monday 4 February 2019
- Monday 18 March 2019
- Tuesday 30 April 2019