Melbourne Law Firm Offering $1,000 Scholarship to “Racist” Students
Melbourne, November 13: Students who admit to being racist or xenophobic – a fear of, or discomfort with, foreigners – could share in a $1,000 scholarship in 2019.
The scholarship is offered by Melbourne-based law firm, Global Mobility Immigration Lawyers & Migration Agents, which runs an annual scholarship inviting students to explore issues touching on the intersection of immigration, law, social justice, multiculturalism and discrimination.
This year’s topic, The Racist Inside Me, invites students to discuss a time they have felt xenophobic, and how they have evolved since.
Partner Ariel Brott willingly confirms that, “The audience we’re trying to reach are not the Dalai Lama.”
But not everyone is pleased.
“I don’t think it is a good idea to go down that path,” says Associate Professor Savitri Taylor, of Latrobe University and Refugee Legal, “I can’t bear to contemplate what that topic will elicit!”
However, Victorian Multicultural Commission Chairperson Helen Kapalos, has welcomed the initiative, because it “could help us confront head-on what’s happening in our society, how to reduce it, prevent it and stop it.”
Others, such as Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, have voiced cautious optimism, but question how entrants will tackle such a challenging topic.
“I think this topic is fascinating as it encourages people to enter into the confession booth so to speak.
“My only reservation is that the essay does ask people to look into themselves and to be really honest. Given that it is such a challenging and complex topic, I’m not sure how many people will shine.”
The scholarship rules do prohibit offensive material, although it’s unclear how this is defined, writes Cindy Cameronne.
Asked if this year’s scholarship topic could be opening a giant can of worms, Global Mobility Immigration Lawyers & Migration Agents Partner Ariel Brott responded:
“I’ll take that over a giant can of preaching to the converted.
“The audience we’re trying to reach are not the Dalai Lama – they’re real people, capable of choosing good and evil, and we want to inspire them to reflect on that choice.
“Because that’s where the war against xenophobia is won and lost – not among social media saints and ideologues, but ordinary people battling their demons”.
The winner will take home a $500 cash prize in addition to a $500 donation to a non-profit of their choice that assists immigrants.
Entries open on 1 January 2019 and close on 1 October 2019. More information: Global Mobility Immigration Lawyers & Migration Agents Scholarship 2019