Almost 3,000 Australians from all cultural backgrounds walked together yesterday in Lakemba for the ‘Walk for Respect’.

Changes to 18C failed in the Senate within the preceding 24 hours, and multicultural Australia celebrated the triumph of respect over racist hate speech.

Shadow Minister for Multicultural Australia Tony Burke said, “We’ve responded to racist hate speech with a celebration of modern multicultural Australia.

“It’s the second time we’ve held the Walk for Respect, and it’s the second time we’ve won the battle against weakening section 18C of Racial Discrimination Act.

“The people who are wanting to give permission for more racist hate speech need to understand that it is not what modern Australia is about.”

Cook Island drummers, a Vietnamese dragon, African drummers, Lebanese drummers and Chinese Lions were there alongside many other cultural groups and performers.

Rebecca Mac from Campsie is an Ambassador for the Walk for Respect. She said, “My kids are happy to see a lot of people here. They are the younger generation, so if they are here to see that there is passion about multiculturalism, they embrace it. They will not let anyone abuse them or insult them for difference of colour in skin, they won’t accept any sort of hate speech. You should embrace in harmony and be proud of who you are.”

“So I am trying to role model this to children at a very young age to respect people in the community, no matter who they are.”

The peaceful walk was attended by NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley, Jihad Dib MP, Sophie Cotsis MP and more. Ending in Parry Park with live music from the Yarwah band and activities for kids.