A spokesperson called the mural “a symbolic way for the community, including police, to show that we’re taking a stance against violence and discrimination.”
Students threw balloons filled with paint against a police station in Australia to create a rainbow design to show support for LGBT equality.
Around 400 students, from seven different schools, took part in the action at the Fawkner police station in Victoria, creating a mural that stretches some 260 fee
Fawkner Police Station got the rainbow treatment this afternoon when hundreds of school kids took part in an explosion of colour in celebration and support of LGBTI communities. ? Check out our video of the full, paint-spattered spectacular tomorrow. #IDAHOBIT pic.twitter.com/W2T6Gy1Esj
— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) April 30, 2018
The project was organized ahead of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOT), observed every year on May 17, by nonprofit community health provider Merri Health and Moreland City Salvation Army.
In addition to creating the mural, students went through a tented structure with a banner laid over top showing a mouth vomiting out a rainbow. The students emerged through the structure with different colored poster board held over their heads, bringing the rainbow vomit image to life. The footage will be used as part of a film being produced by the group Youthworks, to be released on IDAHOT.
Victoria Police Community Engagement Acting Inspector Troy Papworth told The Australian the permanent mural will stand as “a symbolic way for the community, including police, to show that we’re taking a stance against violence and discrimination.”
He added that he hopes it will help “encourage everyone to speak to us if they need help.”
“I think the arts is a really intelligent and powerful way to engage young people in acts of social justice and allyship.” project creator and Merri Health Community Arts and Development Officer Russ Pirie said. “As a community we don’t all need to be the same, no one needs to change and just need to learn to live together in a way which is safe and inclusive.”
“Secondary school is the most unsafe place for queer young people, particularly trans youth who are the group most at risk of suicide of any community in Australia.” he added. “When you look at young people who face discrimination, LGBTQIA+ people are unique because they are unsafe at school and when they go home they aren’t safe either.”
Statistics show that LGBT youth are more susceptible to bullying, violence, including sexual assaults, and have a higher suicide rate than their non-LGBT peers.
Around 61% of LGBT people said they experienced verbal abuse because of their sexuality, and 18% reported experiencing physical abuse, according to the Australian Human Rights Commission.