As I’m watching the unfolding scenes of unrest and violence in the U.S., my heart breaks. The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor represent the deeply institutionalised racial prejudice and injustice that still exists in communities all over the world today. Including in my own backyard, with the continued structural marginalisation of indigenous people in Australia.
The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.General David John Hurley, Governor-General of Australia
I hold a privilege. One that comes with great responsibility to stand up and say “it’s not ok” when something isn’t right. To not walk past silently in acceptance. I have a responsibility to speak out.
What happened to George Floyd is not acceptable.
What happened to Ahmaud Arbery is not acceptable.
What happened to Breonna Taylor is not acceptable.
And, what has happened to many other Black lives, all over the world, is not acceptable. I have a responsibility to say Black Lives Matter. I believe we all do.
Like many of you, Scott and I are angry and sad. We believe, above all else, in respecting human rights. Equality is not a privilege, reserved for some and not others. Now, more than ever, we must come together and support one another. We must listen, and learn. And we must speak up and fight for equality and justice.
We should continue to expect unrest until governments and companies (including ours) are held accountable in upholding equality and justice. And as this unrest grows more loud, more violent, and more painful, we need to do own our part in creating a more just and equitable world. Anything less would be complicit and complacent.
It pains me to say – I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know how to fix this, today. But I do know that as a company, we can continue to act with heart and compassion. Atlassian cares deeply about supporting our team, our communities, our planet and our customers. We aren’t perfect, but we are making progress and sharing our journey in our annual Sustainability report.
We know we have more work to do. As we look to our future, we must think about what stronger leadership for racial justice looks like. It’s not just about creating a diverse Atlassian team. But, this is a start. And we definitely need to do more to hire and retain underrepresented minorities. Which is why we’re committed to being open about where we can improve and where we’re making progress.
Inequality is quickly widening at both local and global levels, and current business and government models are not addressing the reality that most of our communities experience today. The COVID-19 crisis has shown just how fragile our systems are. Healthcare, the economy, and social systems are failing. They’re disproportionately impacting our most vulnerable communities. We need to address criminal justice reform. We need to vote and uphold democracy. History will judge us by how we rebuild. We must ask ourselves, do we just “go back to normal” or do we want to truly change the world? We believe in the latter.
We cannot let racism perforate our society any longer. Change comes from our voices. Scott and I will continue to speak up – but also listen and learn. We will continue to help lead Atlassian in doing better within our own walls, and supporting our customers and partners around the world in doing the same.