Statement from the City of Greater Bendigo, community and cultural leaders

Media release

City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Cooney today brought together local cultural, faith and community leaders in a demonstration of unity following acts of vandalism across a number of important cultural, sacred and historic sites.  

“As leaders in the Greater Bendigo community we strongly condemn the acts of vandalism and demonstration of hate that has been revealed this week. 

“The result has not only been physical damage to artefacts and symbols, but also personal hurt to those groups and to everyone who values our service personnel and the historic and current multi-cultural, multi-faith nature of our community.

“Whilst the deplorable, senseless and deliberate actions of two people have shocked and disappointed us all, we take heart from the response we have seen from the community. 

“One of Greater Bendigo’s greatest assets is its rich cultural fabric and we are proud that, when tested, this fabric is only strengthened. 

“Our multi-cultural and multi-faith groups are committed to living together in equality, peace and goodwill, with a desire to promote understanding and respect between faiths and amongst the broader community. 

“Today, we celebrate our First Nations Peoples and acknowledge our strong history of migration and the contribution that people of all walks of life, cultures and beliefs have made and continue to make to our city and region. 

“Our community knows the values of working together so we can share in a bright future.

“Memories of this attack will soon fade for most; however, our common resolve is strengthened by its occurrence. 

“We stand together today committed to a Greater Bendigo where everyone is welcome, valued and respected.

“We call on all residents to join us and continue to contribute to a community where understanding triumphs over ignorance and intolerance, and inclusion and acceptance prevails.”

Greater Bendigo