The West

Gurrumul victim of racism
Gurrumul Yunupingu. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

The management for Aboriginal musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu claim he was refused a Melbourne taxi because of his skin colour.

The blind performer had played at St Kilda's Palais Theatre, where he performed as part of a tour with Missy Higgins, when Mark Grose flagged down a taxi for him last night.

Grose, who is a manager for the musician, said the taxi was asked to wait while Hohnen and Gurrumul arrived but drove off once Gurrumul arrived.

"Michael came out and waited by the taxi, when the taxi driver saw Gurrumul he said no locked the doors and drove off leaving (manager) Michael Gurrumul and (his partner) Bronwyn standing in the middle of the road," he said on the musician's Facebook page.

"Surely not in Melbourne, but sadly yes."

Grose told ABC radio he was "gobsmacked" and believed Gurrumul had been a victim of racism.

"He refused to take the fare for whatever reason you know is a mystery but there's only one reason I can think of," he said.

"He just looked at the colour of the skin and said that's it... there's no other explanation."

Fans on Gurrumul's Facebook page have posted hundreds of messages of support.

"That is disgusting, sad it has happened to an Aussie icon," said one fan.

"Absolutely disgraceful!!! Ignorance and intolerance is alive and well it seems," another post read.

The Victorian Taxi Directorate is understood to be investigating.

Gurrumul is on a summer tour with Missy Higgins.

The West Australian

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