Erin Chew and Kingsley Liu, the co-convenors of Project 18C, welcome Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s announcement to scrap the proposed changes to Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Project 18C was a nation-wide campaign aimed at getting Local Government Councils and Shires to passresolutions opposing the proposed changes to the RDA, followed by writing letters to the Federal Government stating their concerns and highlighting the effect of the proposed changes on their local communities.
Chew and Liu resolved to continue their campaign after the closing date of 30 April 2014 for sending submissions to the Attorney-General George Brandis. To date their efforts resulted in over 70 Local Government Councils and Shires, representing over seven million constituents, having passed such resolutions.
These resolutions came from local councils and shires with majorities covering both sides of the political divide. Thirty other local councils were still scheduled to consider motions over the next two months. With the Government’s back down on the proposed changes, the Project 18C campaign is now closed.
Kingsley Liu said, “ This is a victory for a sustained and true grass roots campaign across an amazing myriad of communities. Our humble thanks to each and every supporter and all those whom we have worked around the clock with, across the nation, for the past three months. We have worked with over 500 local councillors and their mayors, their staff as well as gaining the advice, encouragement, leads and support from Project 18C’s, 3,500 supporters. This network will be able to access our new advocacy platform for other important grass-root issues that are progressive and integrating across the mainstream and multicultural communities”.
A number of new action and advocacy projects have sprung out of Project 18C in relation to community integration, women issues and youth leadership.
Erin Chew, ( who is currently in San Diego) said, “ We are adapting a US model of our Harmony in Action project, which was commenced six weeks ago in Gosford NSW, bridging and building working relationships with sectors of the community normally separated by race, language and culture. Our objective is to get behind projects that act and articulate positive goals. Project 18C’s approach style, whilst questioning in depth the government’s proposition, will be seen to have developed a long lasting working network”.
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