Ipswich Leads Way in Healing Race Divisions

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew Korner

NEGATIVE coverage of a spate of attacks on Indian students in Melbourne has prompted positive action in Ipswich.

The city yesterday hosted the launch of www.aussieindiaharmony.com (http://www.aussieindiaharmony.com) , a website which allows members of the public to leave blogs or messages about their experiences and views on racial harmony between India and Australia.

Members of the Indian community, including Ipswich's honorary Indian ambassador, Manju Jehu, and president of the Brisbane chapter of the Global Organisation for People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), Umesh Chandra, joined Mayor Paul Pisasale in denouncing what they referred to as misleading coverage of race relations in Australia.

Ms Jehu, who has lived in Australia for more than 30 years and proudly dons traditional Indian clothing, said she believed racism claims were grossly exaggerated, if not false.

"I have been here 31 years and dressed as an Indian the whole time, so why has nobody ever touched me?" Ms Jehu said. …