Media release:

Our community is united against racism

Friday 17 April

Media release (PDF)

GSA is saddened and shocked at the recent racially motivated attacks on University of Melbourne international students in the CBD area. The behavior of such attackers is harmful, disgraceful and unacceptable. GSA is concerned such attacks will heighten the fear and helplessness felt by students who are already facing hardship, but sends this message to all students who feel vulnerable or unsafe: we stand with you.

Over the last months of the current pandemic, many international students are feeling vulnerable and threatened.

GSA’s Health and Welfare Officer, Hiruni Sonalika Walimunige, highlighted the increased mental health issues, financial pressures and impacts of social isolation that our student community is currently facing. In many cases, students are facing loss of employment, overcrowded share housing, upheaval in their academic lives, and a lack of family contact and support. Incidences of racial assault only compound the anxieties felt by these vulnerable groups.

GSA President Emily Roberts emphasises that all students and communities have the right to feel safe at all times. “We condemn racism, as always, and reiterate that the illness does not discriminate by country of origin, race or religion. There is no room for racism in our society.”

GSA is encouraged that the University of Melbourne is meeting with students affected by such racial attacks, and grateful that UMSU is assisting with legal support.

GSA stands firmly with the University community on the side of vulnerable students to stamp out racism, and we offer our unconditional support to all international and domestic students during these challenging times.


View GSA Resources for COVID-19 assistance