• Memes and messages of support were posted online, including this creation by Gomeroi man Scott Trindall. (Scott Trindall/Twitter)Source: Scott Trindall/Twitter
Supporters took to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to call out racist behaviour in the video.
By
Madeline Hayman-Reber

Source:
NITV News
16 Dec 2019 - 9:08 PM  UPDATED 16 Dec 2019 - 9:52 PM

The family of a couple who were subjected to a vile racist attack in their own home in northern Victoria has thanked the community for their support.

Robby Wirramanda-Knight and his wife Jackie had been painting in their Mildura garage with the door open, when they say their neighbours Rob Vigors and Karen Ridge climbed out of a car on the street in front of their home.

Instead of going to their own residence, Mr Vigors and Ms Ridge approached the garage and launched into a tirade about Wirramanda-Knight's Aboriginality, with Ms Ridge attempting to tear the family's Koori flag down.

But Mr Wirramanda-Knight told SBS News that it took a while for the magnitude of the attack to kick in.

"It's really sad that we've become accustomed to this type of behaviour. It is not okay to live in a rich area if you are a black family, that is disturbing. It's not okay to drive a nice car if you're a black man or black woman," Mr Wirramanda-Knight said.

"You've always got to be on guard. Am I allowed to own this? Am I allowed to live here? Who do I have to justify myself to next? I'm sick of that. It does my head in and I really see the need for education across regional Australia."

Within 24 hours of the incident going viral online, along with the hashtag #toostrongforyoukaren, Mr Vigors was swiftly booted by McDonalds as franchisee of both the Mildura and Irymple restaurants. It was a position he held since 1992. 

Speaking to the media following this decision by the corporation, Mr Vigors and Ms Ridge claimed their neighbours had stolen and eaten their cat - an allegation widely ridiculed on social media.

On Monday afternoon, Express Travel Group announced they had removed Ms Ridge's company Mildura Travel & Cruise from its membership.

"I thank everyone for being supportive of my family in this time, it's sparked a conversation about the systematic racism in this country," the Wirramanda-Knight's child, and original poster of the video, Kira Knight told NITV News on Monday.

"I dream of a future where our youths don't have to deal with the Karens and McRobs of the world."

Although it was the first time a video of their neighbours had been posted to Facebook, Mr Wirramanda-Knight said it wasn't the first time they'd been subject to Ms Ridges' abuse.

He told NITV News that Victoria Police was now in possession of several other videos to assist with their investigation.

In the meantime, Mr Wirramanda-Knight will be working with Mildura MP Ali Cupper over coming weeks to educate the wider community on Aboriginal culture.

"We need to educate ourselves so we can educate others," Mr Wirramanda-Knight said.

"If I was to look at a message for our mob, it would be to understand where anger comes from. Hurt, fear and frustration."

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