Who’s next door?

We pride ourselves on our generosity and the diversity of our society. Walking down our city streets we are surrounded by difference.

But how do we feel when difference moves in next door? Or sits next to us on the train or in the classroom?

Someone looks at you, says something to you, or turns away making you feel anxious, threatened and alone. Or you see it happen to someone else and you feel uncomfortable, angry and powerless.

Experience another point of view. You might even see yourself.  

Have you seen or experienced this kind of scenario before? How would you react? How did it make you feel?

I feel different when people look at me and they kind of like assume things about me that aren’t true. And they’ve got that squinty kind of eye and they think you’re really suss.  Sen Jayaweera, Melbourne, 2010

Why didn’t I say anything? Fear. Not fear of an awkward social situation – but fear for our physical safety in a situation involving racial aggression. All but one person in the [train] carriage strongly disapproved of what happened – but no one could speak up until the guy left. Tim Watts, government and telco adviser and blogger, Melbourne, 2010

To share your response use the Comments Box at the bottom of this page. Selected written responses will be shown on our website. Ibrahim eyes