When her three-year-old daughter Samara was racially vilified in the middle of a Melbourne shopping centre, Rachel Muir knew she had to make a stand.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
Since the harrowing incident last year, the Aboriginal Ballarat mum of two has become a champion for change not just in her own community but across the world.
Earlier this month, she was recognised for her tireless work in the fight against racism with a National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee award.
“What happened to Samara just my heart,” Ms Muir said.
“It’s never an easy thing to come forward when you have experienced any kind of vilification. But I knew I had to come forward not just to stand up for my own daughter but for the many others out there who continue to be discriminated against.”
Ms Muir was given the award by the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative not only for her leadership in shifting racist or bigoted attitudes in society but also her work in promoting multiculturalism in women’s sport.
Through her role as footballer at the East Point Dragons Female Football Club, Ms Muir has played a pivotal part in breaking down cultural barriers.
During the team’s indigenous match in June, she organised a group of Aboriginal dancers to perform.
“I don’t believe in just standing up for one race, I think as a community we need stand up for anybody who is facing any type racism or discrimination,” Ms Muir said.
“People can’t be faulted for their colour of their skin, their country of birth or what religion they are. At the end of the day we are all human beings and our differences are something to be celebrated.”
After Samara was subjected to a racist attack while dressed as Queen Elsa from the animated film Frozen her family was inundated by thousands of messages of support from around the world.
“Nobody is born a racist,” Ms Muir said. “Attitudes are formed at home. Only with the love and support of communities like Ballarat can the fight against racism be won.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.