Yellow balloons have been a symbol of Bendigo’s strength and togetherness since 2015, when they were used to stand up against racism, hatred and division.

And today, Believe in Bendigo and Bendigo Community Health Services are again using them to show the world that no matter where you come from, you are welcome in this city.

The #BendigoTogether campaign began in June to support the city’s Karen community after a series of COVID-19 related attacks.

Bendigo Community Health Services received reports of Karen community members being verbally abused, coughed on and called names linked to the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The campaign has been a success so far, with members of the Karen community feeling very supported to the Bendigo community for showing them they are welcome, and they belong,” BCHS Cultural Diversity and Relationships team manager Kaye Graves said.

“Karen community members have reported seven incidences to police, and since the awareness campaign began, reports of these attacks to us have reduced.

“But we don’t want to be complacent.”

As numbers of coronavirus cases across Victoria rise, Believe in Bendigo spokesperson Margot Spalding said it is important the campaign continues.

“We have printed some amazing yellow wheelie balloon bin stickers and we’ll be delivering them to letterboxes around Bendigo in the next few weeks, she said.

“It’s a great chance for locals to show their support for all communities in Bendigo, to show that Bendigo welcomes everyone and won’t stand for hatred.

“Put your yellow balloon sticker on your council rubbish bin and take a stand against racism and abuse.

“Share a photo of you and your bin on social media and tag #BendigoTogether. If you want a sticker, but haven’t got one yet, message Believe in Bendigo on facebook and we’ll put one in your letterbox.”

Learn more about the #BendigoTogether campaign by reading our original launch post click here


Visit our Coronavirus Bendigo Refugee Resource Hub for the latest videos and information sheets in Karen, Dari and Dinka language:

We have launched a new Coronavirus Telephone Hotline for the Karen community with our Karen speaking staff taking calls and answering questions. Learn more

VIDEO: How to choose a safe face mask and wear them correctly in Karen, Dari and Dinka language. To watch click here