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African-Australians call for solidarity

Amid construction and passing trams, hundreds gathered on the steps of Victorian Parliament today to commemorate the 11th anniversary of the death of Liep Gony and to stand in solidarity with Melbourne’s South Sudanese community. Charlotte Grieve reports. 

African-Australians call for solidarity
Photo Essay by Charlotte Grieve
 

“When I came to Australia, I thought I’d run away from all the trouble. I was very happy here. Liep was the one who taught me everything,” Martha Ojulo told hundreds gathered outside the steps of Victorian Parliament today.

On September 26, 2017, 19-year-old Liep Gony went shopping in preparation for his sister’s wedding. He never returned.

He was attacked in Noble Park by two men with metal poles and left for dead on a nature strip. The court heard one of the men had sprayed ‘fuck da n***as’ on the lounge room wall of the house he was renting. The other man was heard yelling “kill the blacks”.

But Supreme Court sentencing judge Elizabeth Curtain was not convinced the crime was racially motivated. His family believe otherwise.

“My son was not killed because he fought someone. My son was not killed because he did something wrong. My son was killed because of the colour of his skin,” said his mother today through an interpreter.

“We’re here to support the family,” said Bol Machar, South Sudanese community leader, with Gatkuoth Chol, Pastor of Springvale Sudanese Group of Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

“We’re here to support the family,” said Bol Machar, South Sudanese community leader, with Gatkuoth Chol, Pastor of Springvale Sudanese Group of Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

Family members prepared t-shirts with a poem to remember the 19-year-old.

Family members prepared t-shirts with a poem to remember the 19-year-old.

An African-Australian choir which sang the hymn “In The Sweet By and By”.

An African-Australian choir which sang the hymn “In The Sweet By and By”.

Liep Gony painted by Melbourne artist, Nyagak Yang.

Liep Gony painted by Melbourne artist, Nyagak Yang.

Flowered were laid to remember Liep Gony and call for solidarity with Melbourne’s South Sudanese community.

Flowered were laid to remember Liep Gony and call for solidarity with Melbourne’s South Sudanese community.

 

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