Australia needs to reject racism and end the poor treatment of Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes, writes George Tambassis
As tens of thousands of young Australians take to sporting fields this weekend, it is imperative that their parents, supporters, fellow sportspeople and the institutions that make up their daily lives reaffirm their opposition to racism in all its forms.
The Adam Goodes controversy has put a spotlight on a sub-culture of hate and racism infiltrating an aspect of our lives that must be rejected comprehensively.
As health, social and community hubs, the 5,450 community pharmacies across Australia have always been symbols of trust and tolerance, dealing with and caring for all Australians on equal terms.
Pharmacy owners, pharmacists and pharmacy assistants are a microcosm of Australian society, coming from all ethnic backgrounds and walks of life, with a common cause of serving the health needs of their communities.
This country is built on decades of immigration, and is also blessed with the oldest culture known to our planet – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
This ethnic and cultural diversity is to be celebrated and revered. As both a courageous leader and an incredibly gifted sportsman, Adam Goodes should be lauded and applauded.
Sport is an integral part of Australia’s modern cultural make-up. We pride ourselves on our depth of sporting skill and talent, but also on our belief in a fair go, and in support for the underdog.
That noble sporting heritage is put at risk when unthinking, ignorant and malicious racism intrudes into a game, or into any aspect of our lives.
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia rejects racism in all its forms because it is a breach of Australian values, and because it dishonours our community.
If we are to confront this issue once-and-for-all, we need local, grassroots community leaders all around Australian to have the courage to be seen to stand up for what is right.
We must not continue to sweep this issue under the carpet. Good people who have the trust and the respect of their local communities must show they are willing to take the lead. It is incumbent upon all of us to make a stand and clearly repudiate the scourge of racism.
George Tambassis is the national president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.