SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis has added her voice to a call by NSW Police and the Premier for calm and vigilance in the aftermath of today’s sad events at Martin Place.
“The tragic outcome of the hostage situation in Martin Place has shaken everyone in our community.
“Our thoughts are with the families of the two hostages who died in Martin Place, innocent victims of a drama that had its roots far from the central business district of our city, and for reasons we don’t yet fully understand.
“What we do know is that these sad events have brought out the best in many of us, with deliberate displays of solidarity, kindness and respect by our fellow citizens, as well as calls for peace and unity.
“While the usual negative elements in our community are using this tragedy to push a racist agenda, to spread misinformation and create fear, we urge everyone to heed the call by police and the Premier for calm and vigilance.
“We support the view of NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and NSW Premier Mike Baird that this incident should not change our lives; this is a time to come together, not be divided. Equally importantly, they have also called for calm and positive communication from communities.
“We are reassured to hear that Police and community leaders are united in peace and will not tolerate bias motivated violence or targeting.
“We have asked our staff to continue to closely monitor reports of racist incidents from our refugee, humanitarian entrant and asylum seeker clients, which will be reported to the police.
“Finally, we would also like to repeat NSW Police advice for everyone in the community to go about their daily activities but if they see or hear anything suspicious to contact their local Police or, if urgent, ring 000.”