When her three-year-old daughter Samara was racially vilified in the middle of a Melbourne shopping centre in July 2015, Rachel Muir, the Aboriginal Ballarat mother of two, decided she was going to be a champion for change.
She began a campaign against racism last year, this July, she was recognised for her tireless work with a National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee award.
“It’s never an easy thing to come forward when you have experienced any kind of racism,” said Muir in a recent interview. “I knew I had to come forward not just to stand up for my own daughter but for others who continue to be discriminated against.”
Muir was given the award by the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative not only for work against racism but also her efforts in promoting multiculturalism in women’s sport.
Through her role as footballer at the East Point Dragons Female Football Club, Muir has played a pivotal part in breaking down cultural barriers. During the team’s match in June, for instance, she organised a group of Aboriginal dancers to perform.
Last year, Samara was subjected to a racist attack when she dressed as Queen Elsa from the animated film Frozen for a Disney princess event at a shopping centre.