On the eve of Ballarat's week-long multicultural celebration, Ballarat's leaders have emphasised the collaborative spirit of the city's many cultures, following a high-profile attack on two Christchurch mosques.
The Al Noor Mosque was targeted in a mass shooting at 11.40am Australian time on Friday, which Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the work of right-wing terrorism.
The Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council runs Cultural Diversity Week, which started on Friday. CEO Ann Foley said the council's work was to promote voices of respect and celebration of culture, and they "share the grief when that breaks down".
"There are many challenges in promoting intercultural harmony, but there is a great will in our town and region to do so, and we hope that will be transcendent - that goodwill and wisdom will prevail," she said.
"There is very strong community support for refugees and asylum seekers ... who have fled religious and cultural persecution, we would expect the community will reach out to people who might feel that impact today."
Ballarat man David Macphail works with refugees at the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, and said the events would have a further traumatising effect "on people of that faith have gone to extraordinary heroic lengths to get here".
But as a Refugee Welcome City, Mr Macphail said Ballarat was "ahead of the game", and events like Cultural Diversity Week had a major hand in "bringing us together".
"The more contact we have with one another, the more we understand each other."
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