Events across the world have cast an unflinching light on where we are now and where we have come from as a country with regard to all forms of racial discrimination and its particular impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Disproportionate incarceration rates and the alarming rates of deaths in custody need a response. We have spent the last two weeks improving our understanding of the complex but critical questions for our country – injustice, unconscious bias, systemic racism. AFTRS stands in solidarity with our First Nations communities and all people of colour who have experienced racism and discrimination and will continue to be committed to building, supporting and promoting the voices, stories and expression of First Nations peoples.
Our Elder-in-Residence Sonia Smallacombe has written this statement on AFTRS behalf,
“We at AFTRS stand as allies to First Nations peoples in this country and speak out when we see acts of racist violence, marginalisation, and repression. AFTRS acknowledges the brutal history of this country’s past, and the continuing impact it has on the present, and further commits to creating a future steeped in equity and justice. AFTRS requests everyone to call out ongoing racism and brutality towards First Nations peoples and peoples of colour, otherwise we become complicit by being silent”