Western Sydney community leaders will tonight launch the Olive Ribbon Campaign to promote respect and understanding across the region’s diverse ethnic and religious communities.
Around 400 olive ribbons will be distributed at the inaugural Western Sydney Assembly, and wearers of the ribbon will pledge to treat all Australians as valued members of a diverse but united community.
Western Sydney Community Forum Executive Officer Mary Waterford said the olive branch was a universal symbol of peace.
“By wearing an olive ribbon Western Sydney residents will make a powerful statement embracing unity and respect over division and conflict.
“The ribbons reflect the solidarity of our diverse community – and that diversity makes us stronger.”
Ms Waterford said Western Sydney’s social cohesion was under attack from people and groups peddling hatred and intolerance.
“We cannot afford to let bigotry take a hold in our society. That’s why so many groups have banded together under the banner of the Sydney alliance to create the Olive Ribbon Campaign, and to promote the values of diversity and inclusiveness.”
Community leaders from faith organizations, community groups, educational institution and trade unions will address today’s launch in Parramatta starting at 5.30pm.
The launch will be followed by a community dinner at Parramatta mission, with the Western Sydney Assembly commencing at 7pm at Parramatta Town Hall.