There are no reasons or excuses for racism. It's just wrong.
Racism is never okay. But it still happens in Australia. Every day. Racism happens in lots of different ways. You hear it when people
- make "jokes" or negative comments about a particular ethnic group
- call others racist names or verbally abuse them
- bully, hassle or intimidate others because of their race
What the law says about racism
The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 is Australia's first anti-discrimination law. It aims to promote equality between people of different backgrounds. The law protects everyone from unfair treatment on the basis of their race, including - colour, descent, national or ethnic origin and immigrant status.
It also protects us from racial hatred.
Tackling racism at home
- Encourage and value diversity and promote a sense of cultural pride
- Be clear that racism is unacceptable and that no one deserves to be treated disrespectfully
- Talk about racism and its effects and impacts
- Be a role model – don’t make racist slurs or jokes about other cultures or backgrounds
- Don’t tolerate racist behaviour – this will encourage the child to develop positive attitudes, a strong sense of self and positive self-esteem
- Be supportive if a child in your care experiences racism
What you can do if racism happens to someone you are caring for
Talk to your care team for advice.
Report it. In an emergency call the police on 000 if you feel threatened or unsafe at any time.
- At school: Talk to a teacher, counsellor or student welfare officer.
- On public transport: Let the bus driver or station guard know what's going on.
- "Unlike" it. Check out the link below for messages you can post in response to 'haters' online.
- Talk to someone. Get advice and support from friends, teachers or parents.
- Make a complaint. The Australian Human Rights Commission can investigate and resolve complaints where people have been treated unfairly, harassed or abused because of their race. Their complaints process is free and confidential. You can also contact them to discuss an issue and talk through your options. For more information see the link below.
- Get support. There are some organisations that offer support in dealing with difficult situations, like Kids Helpline and ReachOut
You can read more about safety and privacy online here