24 Feb, 2010 Last updated: 27 Jan, 2015

Thousands of Victorians will get together today to spice it up and share an Indian meal as an expression of concern about recent violent attacks in the state’s capital.

Thousands of Victorians will get together today to spice it up and share an Indian meal as an expression of concern about recent violent attacks in the state’s capital.

The public support for the Indian community is part of a community initiative taking place around Australia ‘Vindaloo Against Violence’, bringing Indian and Australian communities closer together.

Vindaloo Against Violence organiser, digital media designer, Ms Mia Northrop said: “Vindaloo Against Violence is a day where Melburnians are encouraged to dine on Indian food as a small but symbolic gesture to express their visible support for the Indian community.

“The event is a means for people to express their anger and disappointment that racially motivated violence is occurring in their city, while also enabling them to embrace and show solidarity with the local Indian community,” Ms Northrop said.

The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) is organising a Vindaloo event for over a hundred people at 12pm in Carlton Gardens, following the publication of a major report late last year investigating community attitudes to cultural diversity and discrimination.

Speaking on the eve of the event, VicHealth CEO Todd Harper said: “Recent VicHealth research shows that most Victorians value diversity and the opportunity for a fair go - nine out ten people agree that it’s a good thing for society to be made up of different cultures.

“Unfortunately research also reveals that nearly half of all people from non-English speaking backgrounds report that they have experienced discrimination at some time in their lives – that’s more than two million Australians.

“Race-based discrimination has major physical and mental health impacts – particularly depression – on too many Australians”, said Mr Harper.

“There is strong evidence that Indigenous and overseas-born Victorians continue to report high rates of discrimination, in their everyday activities including when they’re shopping, travelling on public transport, and in workplaces, schools and sports clubs.

“We need workplaces, schools and sporting environments to change their cultures and make sure they are safe and free from race-based discrimination,” Mr Harper added.

“Eating a curry isn’t going to wipe out racial discrimination. But most of us would agree that Vindaloo Against Violence is a small but powerful statement of support for cultural diversity.

“Importantly we need to make sure that we understand each others cultures a bit better and respect difference.

“The richness of our cultural diversity is what makes us unique and is something to be celebrated. We want to make it clear that violence and race-based discrimination are completely unacceptable,” Mr Harper added.

Building on our strengths report

The Building on our Strengths report was published by VicHealth in collaboration with experts from The University of Melbourne and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.