An Aussie mum-of-two claims she was turned away from a Sydney playgroup as she wasn’t “multicultural” enough.
Last month, Tara Coverdale took her eight-month-old baby and four-year-old son to playgroup at the Alexandria Park Community Centre upon a Russian friend’s recommendation.
But after the blonde-haired caucasian woman was quizzed about her “cultural background” by staff, she was told the group was only for “people who speak languages other than English at home.”
Coverdale told The Daily Telegraph that she replied: “’I’m not leaving.’”
“My kids were playing, my older son was having such a good time with his buddy, and I thought, ‘Why should I leave?’”
It was then that the centre manager Jo Fletcher reiterated the “multicultural” rule, explaining that the group was for mothers who may be lonely and want to network with those of the same background.
“How does that help people to integrate, speak English and build a life?” Coverdale questioned.
She added that when she asked if there was a playgroup she could join, she was was told there wasn’t one available at the centre and would have to try others in surrounding areas.
Coverdale says she was shocked by the incident as she thought her community was “pretty progressive.”
“It’s very accepting of all people, but I feel like I’m excluded,” she explained.
Despite Fletcher declining the Telegraph’s requests for comment, she did confirm to the NSW Department of Education that the conversation took place.
Education Minister Rob Stokes has revealed he was “disappointed” to hear about the incident and has since prompted Fletcher to amend the centre’s policies.
“Everyone, regardless of their background, should feel included in these wonderful community activities,” he said.
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