Black Lives Matter in Australia


The 2017 Sydney Peace Prize was awarded to Black Lives Matter on 2 November 2017 at the Sydney Town Hall in Australia. Receiving the prize on behalf of this organisation, described as championing a ‘movement for freedom, justice and dignity for all Black lives’, were the U.S. co-founder, Patrisse Cullors, and her Canadian counterpart, Rodney Diverlus.

Patrisse Cullors and Rodney Diverlus. Photo: ABC News/Jack Fisher.

‘Black Lives Matter is in Australia to accept the Sydney Peace Prize, and meet with black Australians. During our trip, the thing that stands out to us most is that Indigenous Australians are facing some of the most horrendous living conditions in the world, sadly similar conditions to those in the US and Canada. Black Lives Matter is pertinent here in Australia and as we are having conversations with people, we are realising that.

We have heard about the high incarceration rate of Indigenous people and Torres Strait Islanders. We have heard about the impact that colonialism has had on the family unit and how this has contributed to family violence. We’ve heard about the deaths in custody, and the families who have lost their children held in custody. Many of these family members are calling these murders, because when they are finally able to see their children, they are bruised and battered, with broken bones.’


‘When we started Black Lives Matter, we understood that this movement wasn’t just for the United States but one that would centre black communities around the globe. We don’t see this as a civil rights movement, we don’t see this as relegated to the United States but as a human rights movement which allows us to have a broader conversation about anti-black racism across the globe.

So we have travelled to the UK, through the Americas, to Palestine and now to Australia. Throughout our travels we have seen that black people and Indigenous people are suffering, and, despite that suffering, local governments aren’t standing up for us. Wherever black people are, there is racism and the impacts of racism. Yet wherever black people are, there is resistance. We are still resisting and we are still calling for new ways of relating to us, we’re still calling for care and for dignity.’

Patrisse Cullors and Rodney Diverlus

Black Lives Matter in Australia: Wherever Black People are, There is Racism—and Resistance

Also see: Abbie O’Brien

Black Lives Matter founders meet Australia’s Indigenous community

Listen to an audio interview here

and here


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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are respectfully advised that this website contains images of and references to deceased persons.

All viewers are respectfully advised that the site contains images of and references to the deaths in custody of Indigenous peoples, Black people and refugees that may cause distress.