Express Travel Group has dumped a travel agency from its network after the owner was shown trying to pull down her neighbour’s Aboriginal flag in a viral video.
The video, which surfaced on social media over the weekend, shows Mildura residents Karen Ridge and Rob Vigors approaching an Aboriginal family in their home and accusing them of not being indigenous.
Ridge can be seen trying to pull down the family’s Aboriginal flag while Vigors confronts the family.
“Take this s**t down, it’s a disgrace,” Ridge says in the video.
“Pull your f***ing flag down… Go and live in your f***ing humpy down the river.”
WTF!!!! THIS HAPPENED TO MY PARENTS JUST LAST NIGHT pic.twitter.com/MqFfXgmV3z
— Beautifuldeadly Decolonisation (@toostrong4karen) December 13, 2019
Ridge has since been revealed as the owner of Mildura Travel & Cruise, a business that held a membership with Express Travel Group.
Express Travel Group posted a statement to its Facebook page denouncing Ridge’s actions.
“Express Travel Group provides travel services and products to travel retailers throughout Australia and we employ over 80 staff nationally with diverse backgrounds and cultures all working within our company values of diversity and inclusiveness,” the statement reads.
“We are deeply disappointed by the comments made by the owners of Mildura Travel & Cruise who are an independently owned travel business and also hold a membership with Express Travel Group.
“In light of these events, membership of Mildura Travel & Cruise has been terminated with immediate effect.”
Vigors has also landed himself in hot water over the incident, with a McDonald’s spokesperson confirming the company has taken over two franchises he owns.
The target of the attack, Robby Wirramanda-Knight told NITV he is thankful for the community support his family has received in response.
“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,” 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.”
Ridge told the Daily Mail she did not feel comfortable giving her side of the story and alleged she has received death threats.
However, NITV reported Vigors and Ridge have told media the aboriginal family had stolen and eaten their cat.
The allegations, unsurprisingly, have since been ridiculed on social media.
Possum’s all over with a big collective sigh of relief. Cloaks now made out of 100% Karen’s cat ?
— Eddie Synot (@darth_synot) December 15, 2019