Monday, 21 April 2008

HREOC congratulates ANTaR on the
Racism Makes Me Sick campaign

Australian Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tom Calma, congratulated ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation) on the launch of the Racism Makes Me Sick campaign today.

“Australia is a country that takes pride in its indigenous peoples and the multicultural make up of its society,” said Commissioner Calma. “ANTaR’s Racism Makes Me Sick campaign is a vital reminder that racism has both physical and psychological effects on the person on the receiving end.”

The Racism Makes Me Sick campaign draws upon research conducted by the University of Melbourne that identified the physical effects suffered by people who personally experience racism.

Three out of four Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience racism in their daily lives. The research identifies heart disease, premature births, hypertension and mental illness as negative effects of racism on the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia,

“This campaign provides important information about the effects of racism to the public, as well as providing them with action they can take as individuals to confront the problem” said Commissioner Calma.

“There is a 17 year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia to which racism is most definitely a contributor in many ways,” said Mr Calma. “Campaigns such as this assist us as Australians to understand the full impact of racism and to take action to stop it.”

Media contacts: Brinsley Marlay (02) 9284 9656 or 0430 366 529