Mayor calls for tolerance

Taelor PeluseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
Busselton City Mayor Grant Henley.
Camera IconBusselton City Mayor Grant Henley. Credit: Busselton-Dunsborough Times, Taelor Pelusey

Busselton City Mayor Grant Henley is highlighting the virtues of acceptance and tolerance in the wake of the Christchurch shootings, which occurred the day before Busselton welcomed new citizens and flew the LGBTQI flag.

Last Friday, a 28-year-old self-professed white supremacist opened fire in two centres of Islamic worship in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 50 people and injuring about 50 more.

The man has been charged with murder and his acts have been widely condemned around the world, and Cr Henley said it was important as ever that people embrace the “global village” and do their part for inclusivity.

“The fabric of our society is woven of many strands and we are stronger for the integration of different nationalities, cultures and races,” he said.

“Accepting those that have had a different upbringing and may have a different outlook on life is part of being human in this modern era.”

At the weekend, a citizenship ceremony in Busselton welcomed new Australians from South Africa, Thailand, the UK and the US.

On the same day, LGBTQI pride was on full display, with the second annual Busselton Pride.

At both events, the Wadandi people were also recognised as the region’s cultural custodians.

Cr Henley acknowledged some people may struggle to accept a changing society, but urged people to look at life through a different lens.

“I urge these people to consider the impact on those who, for a long time, sat outside our mainstream and felt the cruel isolation of being different,” he said.

“Surely we are a happier place when all people feel safe, included and accepted?”

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