A doll with a noose around its neck was found outside the Aboriginal Advancement Centre in Thornbury, Victoria. Source: Shannon Hood.
A doll with a noose around its neck was found outside the Aboriginal Advancement Centre in Thornbury, Victoria. Source: Shannon Hood.

‘Monstrous’ photo shocks Aussies

The discovery of a dark-skinned doll with what appears to be a noose around its neck has sent shockwaves through the local Aboriginal community.

Melbourne resident Tareen Onus-Williams posted a photo of the doll on her Twitter account today after seeing it on the Facebook account of local community member Shannon Hood.

Mr Hood told news.com.au he took the photo about 4pm on February 8 after finding the doll on the footpath outside the Aborigines Advancement League - the oldest Aboriginal organisation in Victoria - located in the northern suburb of Thornbury.

"I found it very disturbing and sickening. I was going to put the photo on social media (at the time) but I reneged because I knew how it made me feel and I didn't want to upset my friends and family by posting it," he said.

When Mr Hood discovered the doll, Australia was divided over the clash between Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Yumi Stynes over changing the date of Australia Day, and whether Kennerley's remarks were racist.

Mr Hood said he made the decision to post the photo on Facebook today after watching coverage of Kennerley's recent visit to the Northern Territory.

"A lot of the comments I saw about her were a bit disenchanting to me," he said. "Things like the normal 'get over it' and 'she wasn't racist'.

"I thought, 'To hell with this, there are racist people out there … it has to be seen'."

Although many of his Aboriginal family and friends have been upset by the image, Mr Hood said he thought it was important to let other Australians know what was going on.

"This is the stuff that Aboriginal people have to put up with on a daily basis," he said.

"To be putting a brown baby doll in a noose, I thought it was just a monstrous act."

In the days after he found the doll, Mr Hood said he was even worried about walking down the street with his six-month-old son and whether some "nut job" would abuse him.

Since he posted the photo, others have also become concerned, especially in the wake of the white supremacist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand that saw 50 Muslims gunned down in their mosques.

The league's office is in the same complex as the Yappera Children's Service where many Aboriginal children are dropped for childcare. There's a park, primary school and football oval nearby.

Ms Onus-Williams, who posted the doll on her Twitter account today told news.com.au that the doll had raised fears Aboriginal children could be targeted by white supremacists.

"It's terrifying … we've seen this kind of symbolism lead to Christchurch (attack). If we don't stop it now, what are the consequences?

"Someone buying a black doll, chucking a rope around it and chucking it outside an Aboriginal childcare centre, that's just sick."

Fortunately Mr Hood has been heartened by the response from many Australians.

"To their credit, many Australian friends have been horrified by it too," he said.

Ms Onus-William's Twitter post is also filled with comments from shocked Australians.

Mr Hood said he told the league's caretaker about the doll shortly after seeing it.

It's unclear whether the league reported the incident to police. News.com.au has contacted the league for comment.

Continue the conversation @charischang2 | charis.chang@news.com.au