Indigenous activists call for $100,000 compensation after racial discrimination claim against service station
By Sourced Externally
March 13, 2022
Two high-profile Indigenous activists have filed complaints with the Australian Human Rights Commission alleging they were racially discriminated against at a Townsville service station.
Renowned nurse and midwife Gracelyn Smallwood is alleging a service station attendant locked her fuel pump while she was attempting to fill her car at a service station because she is Aboriginal.
The Bindal elder, who is a Member of the Order of Australia, says she was forced to request that her pump be unlocked while other, non-Indigenous, customers were able to freely access the fuel.
Professor Smallwood says she felt “humiliated and intimidated” after the alleged incident at a Shell service station in the Townsville suburb of Belgian Gardens two weeks ago.
“If my car hadn’t been on empty, I would have gotten in it and driven to another servo, such was my anger at what I believe was being played out,” she said.
Professor Smallwood said she contacted colleague Stephen Hagan about the incident shortly afterwards.
Dr Hagan is an Indigenous businessman and activist who agreed to a legal settlement with retail giant Coles over a similar alleged incident of racial discrimination at one of its service stations two years ago.