If we won’t, who will?

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

Written by Julia Ferdinands


I am a brown woman. I have experienced micro-aggressive behaviour in my life, based on my skin colour. I have experienced humour, that in no way was intended to be racist but in the end; simply was. But I will not ever face the brutality African Americans face. I will not face being beaten because a virus began in my homeland China. I cannot imagine what Australia indigenous communities felt; having had their children taken away and whitewashed. We have voices, we have social media, we have phones, meaning we can support. Protests in Ferguson back in 2014 didn’t change the way leaders engaged with communities or address the issue of mass incarceration, so what more can we do? The change needs to come from us.

Silence is a privilege. But silence speaks louder than the protests when it comes to racial injustice. While the remaining three officers are facing charges in George Floyd’s murder, there is still a hell of a lot more to do. There always has been and unfortunately always will be, even if it’s not trending on twitter. And back at home, how are we any better? With over 400 deaths of indigenous Australian peoples in police custody since 1991 - we as a multicultural community need to look to our past as well and recognise the lives lost since colonisation began.

Unfortunately, a friendly conversation about right and wrong is not good enough. There has always been an unnecessary battle for POC to get across the message “stop killing us”. One does not have to experience racism to understand that it has no place in our society. You don’t have to swim straight into a sharks mouth to know its teeth will cut through your flesh to bone. Simple minded responses such as “all lives matter” don’t fix systematic racism, they ignite it.

I am a female footballer at the Bentleigh football netball club and can proudly say that I have never felt marginalised or excluded because of my skin colour, race or sexuality. BFNC embraces diversity and is inclusive regardless of background, sexual orientation and religion. BFNC is also a forward thinking club; promoting and supporting the development of the women’s footy team. You don’t have to be a large corporation to make an impact. You don’t have to possess a certain socio-economic status to make a difference. Smaller communities and clubs have the ability to create vital awareness on global issues and if we share our support for people of colour battling daily oppression, we can in turn make a difference within ourselves and a wider society. Here are some other ways to actively support the cause, from your living room and from the streets: -  


Fundraiser for the family of Kumanjayi Walker

Fundraiser for the family of Tanya Day

Fundraiser for the family of David Dungay Jr.