Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was in attendance and shared the following remarks, including a quote from our own treasured Survivor Speaker Peter Gaspar.
“Since the atrocities of October 7, Jewish Australians have been bearing a pain you should never have had to bear again. And you are feeling fear. Anxious that the long shadows of the past have crept into the present.
That should not be happening in a land that offered refuge then – and embraces you now.
As the conflict continues, antisemitism is on the rise. But we will not let it find so much as a foothold here. Australia will always denounce it and reject it utterly, just as we do all forms of racism and prejudice….
We owe it to our multicultural society, our Jewish community, and our survivors.
I turn to the words of Holocaust survivor Peter Gaspar, who lost 40 members of his extended family. And I quote:
The Holocaust didn’t start with gas chambers and murders and executions. It started with stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, hate speech …
Those are words to heed. Every day.”
The Minister for Education Ben Carroll was in attendance, whose Department has shown ongoing support for Courage to Care, and the power of education to fight racism, antisemitism and hate speech. It is only due to the support for our Upstander Programs, students across the state hear from inspiring Survivor Speakers including Peter, and are empowered to stand up to ALL forms of hate.
“Within its walls, quiet dignity co-exists with awful truths, each one of them giving meaning to the words we keep repeating: Never again.”
See the Prime Minister’s full speech here