Diversity Q & A
Have you been discriminated against or faced prejudice?
Unfortunately, I have faced discrimination. I remember in particular, when I was a solicitor in the city in Sydney CBD, after the terrorist attacks in the United States in 2001; there was café across the road from my office and I used to eat there all the time. And after those attacks, the next day after those attacks in fact, I was crossing the road and walking past the cafe´ and every single person in the cafe´: the people eating, the waiters, the waitresses, the cooks, the owners, the cashiers, everyone, as I walked past they all just stared. They stopped what they were doing and they just stared at me and it kept on happening. When I would catch the train to the city in the morning, the train would be completely packed and I would sit on a seat on my own and guess what? No one would sit next to me. And they all watched my bag, was I going to leave my bag on the platform, what was going to happen? And also people have called out to me, 'terrorist, go back to your own country' – and I am in my own country I can't really go anywhere else, I was born and raised here. So discrimination has happened to me. I think though, that most people are very genuine and very sincere and they accept me for who I am and it's only those people that do those things who just don't know or that they're just scared.