Melbourne club is ordered to pay $3,000 compensation to a man of ‘African appearance’ who was refused entry to the venue because of his race

A young man refused entry to a Victorian nightclub has been awarded $3,000 after it was ruled he was discriminated because of his race.

Ivan Kibet, who says he is of ‘African appearance’, was the only one of his friends turned away from the Empire Club in the Melbourne suburb of Narre Warren on October 7 last year.

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal senior member Bernadette Steele said on Thursday he had ‘suffered humiliation’ and ‘hurt’, as she ordered the club to pay him compensation.

Mr Kibet was with an all-white group, bar one person of Indian descent, when he attempted to enter the club.

While a few of his companions were allowed entry without question, he and two others were told it was a ‘members only’ night and they were not permitted.

The trio changed their clothes and on a second attempt only Mr Kibet was refused entry, with his friends later noting that most people inside were of Caucasian appearance.

Jonathan Leota, head doorman, said he had ‘picked up on a mannerism’ that meant he did not want to allow the friends into the club, but Ms Steele said CCTV showed the group were ‘unremarkable looking’ and not acting in a boisterous manner.

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