On the back of this 2020 ASIO threat assessment address in Canberra, All Together Now has today called for a greater investment in community-focussed programming on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). The address by the ASIO Director General Mike Burgess last night highlighted the real and growing threat of rightwing extremism in Australia.
All Together Now is a national charity, based in Sydney, with a primary purpose of educating Australians about racism. However, since 2012, All Together Now has also been running a CVE project in NSW called Community Action for Preventing Extremism (CAPE) which is funded by NSW Government until 30 June this year. The program undermines recruitment processes by training and supporting a network of frontline workers who work with young people at risk of engaging in far-right extremism.
All Together Now Managing Director, Priscilla Brice, said the response to the threat of far-right extremism needed to be multi-pronged, including significant investment in community-focussed CVE programs designed to prevent recruitment by rightwing extremists.
“Security and intelligence measures are an important part of the response, but governments cannot ignore the value of effective community-based CVE programs,” said Brice.
“Working in the community to prevent the recruitment of young people is one of the most effective and cost-effective ways to counter this rising threat of far-right extremism in the long-term.
“Funding for CAPE is uncertain beyond the current financial year but I hope that, in light of the threat assessment from ASIO, all governments strongly consider expanding this type of community-based CVE program,” Brice said.